Monthly Archives: June 2015

Railroads Help Idaho Compete in the World

Nearly 140 years after the first railroad was built in Idaho, railroads remain vital to Idaho’s economic success, connecting Idaho’s communities to the global economy. Increasingly, they provide a critical link to international markets through intermodal facilities at ports and other places where goods are transferred to and from rails, ships and trucks. One train can carry as much freight as several hundred trucks, making them about four times more fuel efficient than trucks while easing highway congestion and reducing carbon emissions.

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Idaho Personal Income Components Shifted From 1979 – 2013

The components of personal income in Idaho have changed since 1979 and the three recessions over the next seven years. Wages and business profits accounted for more than two-thirds of personal income in 1979. Today they combine for almost 55 percent.

Filling that void have been government transfer payments, primarily Social Security and Medicare, which rose less than 11 percent to more than 18 percent over the past 35 years.

Investment earnings have remained relatively constant at around 20 percent.

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Food Processing Strong Industry Cluster for South Central Idaho

Food processing is one of the strongest industry clusters in south central Idaho, primarily focused in Jerome, Twin Falls, Cassia and Minidoka counties.

(Click on chart below to enlarge.)

Location Quotient_IndustryAgriculture is driving this sector through the added value that the availability of commodities has fostered. In a state where livestock outnumber people by more than a million, animal production is the largest component, dominated by the dairy industry.

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#WorkingSocial for Job Seekers: Using Social Media to Look for Work

Social media has become an essential tool for job seekers. Whether you are using social media to look for a job, optimizing your social media profiles for the job search, or using social media in the workplace, there are rules and laws that apply. Be sure to stay up to date on how to effectively use social media, as well as how employers can legally use it to make hiring and firing decisions. Here are some tips for using social media to look for work:

Google Yourself. Conduct a personal audit of your online presence. Search yourself on Google to see who you are online. If there are negative search results, manage them by shutting down damaging references, managing your results through sites like or, or simply increase positive posts to drive down the negative ones. Put a Google alert out on your name so you are notified any time you are mentioned on the Internet.

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Most Workplace Deaths in Idaho Occur in Agriculture, Transportation

Idaho’s natural resource-based economy has experienced a significant number of workplace deaths. Between 2003 and 2013, more than half of those deaths were in the agriculture and transportation industries.

During 2013, 30 work-related deaths were recorded in Idaho. Fifteen of those workplace deaths occurred during transportation incidents – the leading cause of workplace deaths over the past 10 years. More than half of the transportation accidents occurred in the agriculture sector.

By occupation, workplace deaths occurred primarily in two areas – 14 in natural resources, construction and maintenance and seven in production, transportation and material moving. Six of the 14 natural resources deaths were farming related. The deaths in the second group involved transportation occupations.

Idaho workers between 25 and 54 years old accounted for 30 percent of the work-related deaths in 2013, and 43 percent occurred among older workers – 55 and older.

Read the full report.

New IdahoWorks: What Unemployment Claimants Need to Know

The unemployment insurance website will be temporarily unavailable starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 10 until 7 a.m. Monday, June 15.

The temporary shutdown is necessary because beginning June 15, we are launching a new IdahoWorks, a free online system job seekers use to find jobs

Q. I normally file my weekly report every Sunday. When should I file my weekly report during the temporary shutdown?

A. Our system will be available at 7 a.m. MDT Monday, June 15. Provided you file your weekly report on Monday, you should receive an eligible payment for week ending June 13 on Thursday, June 18.

Remember, you have until Saturday, June 20 until midnight to file your weekly report for the week ending June 13.

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Some Eastern Idaho Industries Rebounding

The strength of agriculture and food processing in eastern Idaho sheltered the region to a degree from the past recession. Unemployment rates in most southeastern counties never exceeded 9 percent. Oneida, Franklin, Madison, Teton and Bear Lake counties all topped out around 7 percent.

Health care was another sector that helped offset job losses. Between 2007 and 2009, health care added 2,100 jobs as the region’s elderly population rose while many other sectors were shedding workers.

Despite that growth, employment in the 16 eastern counties dropped more than 9,000. Construction and administrative and support and waste management and remediation services combined for a majority of those losses – construction losing 3,200 jobs and administrative support another 2,400.

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Around Idaho: May Economic Activity

  • Information provided in this article has been gathered from various sources throughout the state, including professional sources, news releases, weekly and daily newspapers, television and other media.
Northern Idaho
North Central Idaho
Southwestern Idaho
South Central Idaho
Southeastern Idaho
Eastern Idaho

As reported in

  • Bonneville County: More than 66 percent of voters said yes to a $56.1 million high school bond May 19, but fell shy of the two-thirds supermajority needed to pass a school bond. In all, 6,673 voters said yes, a 66.19 majority, while 3,408 voters said no. It is the third time since 2014 that Bonneville voters have rejected a bond issue.
  • Notus: School officials got the go-ahead to replace an 89-year-old elementary school, as patrons gave a $4.8 million bond issue a 70 percent supermajority. Another school bond issue had failed in November.
  • Preston: A five-year, $4.5 million plant facilities levy passed with 72 percent backing, the Idaho State Journal reported. The vote was 398-155.
  • Emmett: Patrons approved a two-year, $2.8 million supplemental levy, with a 63 percent majority.
  • Troy: Voters turned down a one-year, $1.2 million supplemental levy. The proposal received only 44 percent support. Voters rejected a $1.3 million proposal in March.
  • Sugar-Salem: A two-year, $900,000 supplemental levy barely received the simple majority required to pass. The tally was 275 in favor, 271 opposed.
  • Whitepine: A one-year, $850,000 supplemental levy passed with 60 percent support.
  • Marsing: Voters approved a two-year, $800,000 supplemental levy. It was the first supplemental levy sought by the district since at least 1974, the Owyhee Avalanche reported.
  • Ririe: A two-year, $770,000 supplemental levy passed with 71 percent support, the Post Register reported.
  • Parma: A two-year, $700,000 supplemental levy passed with 79 percent support.
  • Horseshoe Bend: A two-year, $600,000 supplemental levy passed with 70 percent support, KIVI TV reported. An identical levy narrowly failed in March.
  • Salmon River: Voters approved a one-year, $545,000 supplemental levy with 75 percent support.
  • Nezperce: A one-year, $475,000 supplemental levy passed with a 66 percent majority, the Lewiston Tribune reported.
  • Cottonwood: A one-year, $350,000 supplemental levy passed with 71 percent backing.
  • Butte County: Voters approved a one-year, $330,000 school bond extension with an 82 percent supermajority, according to the Post Register.
  • Kamiah: A one-year, $325,000 supplemental levy went down to an overwhelming defeat, receiving just 30 percent support.
  • South Lemhi: A 10-year, $200,000 plant facilities levy received a 93 percent landslide, the Post Register reported.
  • North Gem-Grace consolidation: Patrons in the two Southeast Idaho districts rejected a proposal to combine the districts, the Idaho State Journal reported.

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