Monthly Archives: January 2015

January Economic Activity Around Idaho

Information provided in this article has been gathered from various sources throughout the state, including weekly and daily newspapers, television and other media.

Northern Idaho
North Central Idaho
Southwestern Idaho
South Central Idaho
Southeastern Idaho
Eastern Idaho

Statewide Developments

  • A recent report from the finance website Wallet Hub says Idaho is the third most-generous state – tied with Kansas, according to Boise State Public Radio. Utah and South Dakota topped the list. Using IRS statistics and survey data for the report for the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Wallet Hub looked at volunteer time and money donated. Idahoans’ high rate of giving was attributed in part to the state’s large Mormon population. About a quarter of Idahoans identify as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Giving money to a church counts as a charitable contribution in most studies. A University of Pennsylvania study found that 88 percent of active Mormons report giving 10 percent of their income to the church. That’s higher than any other religion in America.

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2014 Data Shows Economic Promise for Northern Idaho

Northern Idaho’s economy showed real life in 2013 and the data currently available for 2014 are stacking up well.

Despite the continued slowness of the state’s economic recovery, the most recent preliminary data for 2014 through June shows regional employment up 1.8 percent over the first half of 2013 with the same three counties leading the way: Kootenai County was up 3.6 percent, Boundary County up 2.1 percent and Bonner County increased by 1 percent. Benewah County also saw fractional employment growth but not enough to offset a 5 percent decline in Shoshone County. Continue reading

Number of College-Age Unemployed Leaving Idaho Declines

The number of out-of-work, college-educated Idahoans leaving the state appears to be declining, but more are moving elsewhere than unemployed college-educated workers coming to Idaho from other states, based on interstate unemployment insurance claims.

Over 200 Idaho workers with college degrees or higher were receiving unemployment payments in other states at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 while about 50 workers with degrees from other states were collecting benefits in Idaho.

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Boise High School Senior Makes a Difference by Volunteering

For Boise High School senior Frank DeAngeli, volunteering is about making a difference in the world.

Frank DeAngeli

Frank DeAngeli

“I recognize it seems ludicrous for me to claim my volunteerism in a small Idaho city is changing the world,” DeAngeli said. “It only takes one stone thrown into a body of water to create ripples. if enough stones are thrown, eventually the body of water will be diverted forever.”

With Idaho now ranking second in the nation for volunteerism, it’s proof  that volunteers in the Gem State are making a difference.

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Career Chat Camp Equips Youth with Employment Skills, Confidence

When it comes to finding employment, many face challenges and obstacles to overcome.

Career Chat Camp is specifically designed by the Idaho Department of Labor to help youth with disabilities – ages 16 to 24 – overcome challenges and obstacles of finding employment. The weeklong camps cover skill building, job readiness and career exploration.

CCC1“Throughout the week we discovered various personal challenges the youth faced including homelessness, disabilities, illiteracy and many more,” said Rachel Piepmeyer, a disability resource coordinator with the Idaho Department of Labor. “These challenges play a significant role in their thoughts on work and success.”

The camp’s Boise pilot, which took place in early August and was supported by many area businesses and organizations, served as a successful kickoff to what will now be an ongoing program. Topics range from finding entry level jobs and filling out applications, to interviewing and identifying habits for success.

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Demand Rising for Some Occupations in Idaho

Year-over-year statistics show Idaho is seeing employment gains. In October, the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, down from 5.9 percent a year earlier, but what kind of jobs have been created to reduce the number of unemployed workers?

Based on the Conference Board’s Help Wanted Online database of unique online job postings for October 2014, there were 28,877 job postings, an increase of 4,510 from October 2013.

The Conference Board database, however, does not include all job openings. Many employers recruit by word of mouth or other less-than-public methods, but Conference Board data can provide a snapshot of what jobs are being created in the state. Also, not all postings are to fill new jobs. Most postings are to fill existing jobs opened up by workers leaving for retirement or other opportunities.

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Idaho Wages – An Historical Perspective

Idaho’s recent real wage struggles and historical downturn are not unique. The trends Idaho has experienced are similar to those seen by other states in the West and the Great Lakes, and several have experienced greater declines.

Idaho’s industrial makeup has changed over the past 40 years as the state has experienced an economic shift, but wages in most industries historically have been lower than the national average and continue to decline in comparison across sectors despite different growth trends. Differences in the average annual wage between Idaho and the nation are not entirely mitigated by Idaho’s lower cost-of-living. Even with a cost-of-living adjusted Idaho wages ranked last in the country in 2012.

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Do You Need College Financial Aid? Deadlines are Fast Approaching

As college costs continue to rise and families find they need help paying for school, the search for financial aid becomes more important.

If you or your child needs college financial aid or funding for postsecondary education, now is the time to step up your search. February is Financial Aid Awareness Month in Idaho and across the country, and there are lots of resources to support your quest.

The application required at most colleges – FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is an essential form for requesting financial aid. A completed FAFSA is required for federal scholarship and loan agencies; most college and other postsecondary school financial aid offices. The sooner after Jan. 1 an application is received, the greater the chances are of receiving aid that’s given on a first-come, first-served basis.

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MLK Day: Idaho Opportunities to Give Back

Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr.-Human Rights Day and opportunities to volunteer and engage in community betterment are plentiful throughout Idaho.

Historically Martin Luther King Jr. Day marks the recognition of the life and birth of one of our country’s greatest civil rights leaders. National legislation passed in 1994 challenges Americans to transform the holiday into a day of citizen action in honor of Dr. King.

Learn more about events planned for around the state:

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service- Lewiston: The Lewis-Clark Service Corps and MLK Day Planning Committee are inviting community members to participate in volunteer opportunities including working with the Idaho Foodbank, Idaho State Veterans Home, Boys and Girls Club in Lewiston, St. Vincent de Paul in Lewiston and Clarkson, the Lewiston City Library and Homes of Hope. Volunteers can sign up at the LCSC Student Union Building at 10 a.m. to be assigned to sites around the valley.

University of Idaho MLK Celebration – Moscow: The University of Idaho and Washington State University have planned a series of events throughout January including featured speakers, marches, rallies, films and educational activities. Food collections will be taken for the Vandal Food Pantry.

Idaho State University MLK March – Pocatello: Idaho State University is holding a march and food drive to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.

Boise State University MLK Day Celebrations – Boise: Students and community member can take part in a march from the Boise State University campus to the Idaho State Capitol for a rally. Following the rally, which will feature speakers commemorating Dr. King, participants will return to Boise State University to take part in campus service activities.

Corpus Christi Food Drive – Boise Big Brothers / Big Sisters is hosting a food drive to benefit the Corpus Christi House.

Hand of Hope Sends Medical Supplies to Kenya, Rwanda: Hands of Hope Northwest is calling for volunteers to help pack and sort medical supplies to be sent to countries in need.

Learn more about other national days of service at Serve Idaho.

Idaho Labor Market Shows Improvement Since Recession

Idaho’s employment conditions have improved considerably in the past two years. Even the counties experiencing the most economic challenges are showing improvement. August was the first month since March 2008 that Idaho did not have any counties with double-digit unemployment rates. Eighteen of Idaho’s 44 counties experienced unemployment rates above 10 percent at some time between December 2007 and July 2014.

Idaho’s job growth is moving back to its pre-recession levels. January was the first month nonfarm payroll jobs in the United States exceeded pre-recession levels. This September, they were about 1. 1 percent – 1.38 million jobs – higher than in September 2007, three months before the recession began. In Idaho total nonfarm payroll jobs have not recovered completely. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated 655,400 jobs this September, which was 1.7 percent lower – 11,500 jobs – than September 2007.

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