This blog post was updated with new information on March 9, 2017.
Q. I filed my initial unemployment insurance claim online. Now what?
- Ensure your contact information is updated and correct. If more information is needed, we will email or call you, depending on the preferred contact method you selected on your application. We will also mail information regarding your claim. Failing to keep your address current can also result in payment delays.
- Report your Waiting Week. This is the first weekly report, and you must report your waiting week to certify your claim. File your waiting week online the first Sunday after you open your claim. If you never report your waiting week, nothing will happen on your claim.
Q. How do I give my side of the story about why I am no longer working?
Once you file your weekly report for your waiting week, we will contact you by phone or email for information regarding your separation. Please note: It can take four to six weeks for a determination to be made during high volume months (November though February). Once a determination is made, it will be mailed to you. If you are allowed benefits, you will be paid the weeks you filed for and were otherwise eligible for. Payment will be issued by debit card or direct deposit. If you have received benefits via direct deposit in the past, you may need to update your banking information. If you are denied, the determination will explain why and how to protest the decision.
Economic conditions in Idaho were strong through September, a trend that began in early 2010.
Commercial Vacancy Rates
Commercial real estate is a good indicator of whether employers are expanding or businesses are starting up or contracting or shutting down.
According to Reis Inc., a commercial real estate research firm, vacancy rates in the Boise metro area – the only area in Idaho with data – remained high through 2013. The retail market hovered around 18 percent compared with 9.5 percent throughout the country’s western region and 11 percent nationwide. Office vacancies were slightly lower, lingering around 17.5 percent to essentially mirror the 17.7 percent regionally and 17.1 percent nationally. Boise’s downtown core has a significantly lower vacancy rate at 10.6 percent than the outlying areas with 22.5 percent.
Projections by the Idaho Department of Labor indicate construction employment will grow 44 percent from 2012 to 2022, the fourth largest projected growth of any industry in Idaho and 28 percentage points above the projected growth for all industries. During that time, construction is expected to add 3,000 jobs and employ 10,000 people by 2022.
Through the early 2000s, construction was booming throughout the United States. As real estate became the golden investment with an A+ rating and home mortgages available at an all-time high, construction crews could not build houses fast enough. With some hard work and a little bit of luck, a young person straight out of high school could quickly make the kind of money typically associated with a four-year degree. As a result, laborers flooded to the market.
From 2000 to 2007, Idaho employment in the industry exploded, jumping 65 percent to dramatically outpace Idaho’s total employment growth of 19 percent. As banks continued to hand out mortgages to people who could not afford them, the housing market became saturated with available homes and the housing boom quickly turned into a bubble that popped as the first foreclosures hit the market toward the end of 2007, sending the economy into the deepest and longest recession the nation had seen since the Great Depression.
When real estate soured and the housing market dried up, construction jobs dried up with it.
August and early September were the wettest since 1953 in eastern and southern Idaho, and the heavy rain caused flash floods and other problems in several communities. Agriculture was hit hard.
An economist from the University of Idaho Extension Service estimated damage to crops at over $230 million.
Much of the barley and wheat in eastern Idaho was ruined or damaged by the heavy, sudden rains. Downpours caused sprouting and added moisture to the kernels, making it unsuitable for anything other than livestock feed.
The biggest demand for workers in south central Idaho is in the second half of the year when weather is more certain. Two-thirds of all part-time and full-time job listings with the Idaho Department of Labor are placed from July to December – a favorable time of year encompassing crop harvests that underpin the regional economy as well as being conducive to completing construction projects. Retail picks up with back-to-school and the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.
The department’s job listings for south central Idaho have been increasing since the end of the recession as demand picked up from existing businesses that froze payrolls during the downturn and from new and expanding companies.