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.
This past summer the number of Idahoans receiving benefits in other states dropped to around 100 while the number of workers from other states collecting benefits in Idaho remained at around 50.
There were 4,000 interstate claims in 2012-2013 and about 2,000 this past summer.
Interstate claims involve laid-off Idaho workers who move to another state while collecting weekly benefits and laid-off workers from other states who moved to Idaho while doing the same.
At the end of 2012 Idaho workers leaving the state were scattered across the country, but about half had relocated to the six bordering states. Workers coming to Idaho were also scattered but about a fifth of them were from Texas.
This past summer, about two-thirds of the degree-holding Idaho workers moved to one of the six border states, while about a third of those moving to Idaho came from the border states.
The maximum period a worker can receive regular unemployment benefits is 26 weeks, or six months. Using a six-month running average to avoid counting claimants more than once, the interstate claims data shows about 4,200 Idaho workers with college degrees left the state between October 2012 and October 2014 while about 1,200 workers with degrees came to Idaho.
Around 2,500 Idaho workers leaving the state were under age 45 while only 200 coming into Idaho were in that age group.
The margin of difference was smaller in other age groups but still numbered in the hundreds.
Regardless of educational attainment, more jobless workers relocated to Idaho than left over the two-year period, and the overwhelming majority were age 55 and older, reinforcing the steady age shift in Idaho’s population.
Over the two-year period, the Gem State saw a net increase of nearly 39,000 jobless workers moving to Idaho while collecting unemployment benefits, and 37,300 were age 55 or older.
While Idaho remains one of the youngest states in the nation – with an average age of 35.5, lower than all but four other states – Idaho is aging faster than most states. From 2010 to 2013, Idaho’s total population grew 2.6 percent, but its population aged 55 and older was up 10.8 percent. Only seven other states saw their 55 and older populations grow faster. The total population grew 41,418 while the population 55 years and older grew 41,023.
Nationally, the country’s population grew 2.2 percent from 2010 to 2013 while the 55 and older cohort increased 8.7 percent.
Bob.Fick@labor.idaho.gov, communications manager
(208) 332-3570 ext 3628