Monthly Archives: September 2015

Confidence Increasing in Idaho’s Economic Recovery

The fires that raged in the state’s forests, the drought that reduced crop yields and a jittery stock market provided plenty of bad news in late August, but in general Idaho business conditions are good. Growing U.S. markets to sell to, richer and more confident consumers in Idaho, low inflation and continued improvement in the real estate, construction and related sectors are helping most Idaho businesses be profitable.

Late August also brought some good news for the economy. The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced the U.S. economy grew at strong 3.7 percent rate in the second quarter of the year. U.S. consumer confidence jumped to its highest reading in seven months.

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Workforce Equality Still a Challenge for Women in U.S., Idaho

Despite the 95 years since the 19th Amendment was passed granting women the right to vote and hold elected office in the United States, women still continue to fight for equality in the workforce.

Women have realized a 20 percent gain in workforce participation and educational attainment over the past 50 years, but a large proportion of working women in traditional occupations are still paid less than their male counterparts, according to a 2014 report from the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau.

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10 Tips to Help Employers Succeed at Hiring Fairs

Attracting top talent to your business can be challenging. Hiring events allow employers to quickly connect with several prospective employees. To successfully recruit talent at an event, preparation is key.

Whether this is your first time at a hiring event, or you’ve participated in many, maximize your experience and make the most of your time by following these 10 tips:

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Tips to Help Job Seekers Avoid Job Scams

Searching for a job is hard work without the added stress of sifting through job scams and false job postings. Job seekers can be easy targets for scammers because of their eagerness to gain employment.

“Job scammers know most people looking for work will provide what they need in order to secure employment,” said John Russ, regional manager in the Idaho Department of Labor’s Meridian office.

Avoiding job scams includes knowing red flag behaviors of scams, understanding reputable places to search for work, verifying that job postings or offers are valid and knowing how to report potential job scams.

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Corporate Officer Wages Must be Reported

Are you preparing to file your quarterly wage report for unemployment insurance tax? If so, remember to include your company’s corporate officers. According to Idaho’s Employment Security Law, corporate officers are considered employees and as such, their compensation must be reported if they perform services for the corporation.

Corporate officers are high-ranking persons, such as presidents, vice presidents, and financial officers, with the day-to-day responsibility of running corporations.

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#WorkingSocial for Job Seekers: Before You Go Social

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 things you need to know before using social media to search for a job:

Know Your Rights: From National Labor Relations Rulings to the First Amendment. Private and non-profit employees are protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) which governs employee social media use in the workplace. The act protects concerted activity: the right of employees to discuss wages, terms of employment and working conditions. A private or non-profit employee can’t be fired or disciplined for posting on social media if the post falls under concerted activity. Further, an employer restricting social media use in the workplace may be restricting an employee’s right to discuss concerted activity.

Public employees are not protected by the National Labor Relations Act. Instead, the First Amendment protects social and political posts public employees make off duty, outside of their official capacity and not directly related to the workplace. If you publicly gripe about your workplace or employer, these posts are not protected. Additionally, posts of public concern must not outweigh a public employer’s ability to effectively and efficiently fulfill its responsibility to the public.

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Second Annual Think Big Festival Expands High-Tech Industry in Coeur d’Alene

Nick Smoot, creator of Innovation Collective and the Think Big Festival, celebrates a great festival with Labor Kootanai County Regional Manager Vicki Isakson.

Nick Smoot celebrates a successful  festival with Labor Regional Manager Vicki Isakson.

No one knows for sure what the future holds, but some of the best visionaries and inventors in robotics, artificial intelligence and technology recently gathered to share their ideas.

The second annual Think Big Festival took place Aug. 20-22 in Coeur d’Alene.

Nick Smoot, creator of Innovation Collective and the Think Big Festival, assembled many speakers from across the United States.

Think Big Brings Big Names to Idaho

The Think Big lineup included Dr. William Torch, a prominent neurologist who invented the keyboard Stephen Hawking uses which allows him to type using eye movements.

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Work Experience Program Provides Busy Summer for Cascade Youth

Stream surveying with electricity – Two Forest Service biologistsl, Nick Brown, Garrett Way, Chris Ferroni (left to right)

Stream surveying with electricity – (From left) Two Forest Service biologists, Nick Brown, Garrett Way, Chris Ferroni

Garrett Way, Nick Brown and Chris Ferroni, all of Cascade, may be “typical Idaho boys” in some ways, but their summer of 2015 was been anything but routine. As participants in the Workforce Investment Act Youth Work Experience Program, the three worked on a variety of projects with the Cascade Ranger District of the Boise National Forest.

They spent time in highly traveled recreation areas and worked in remote, pristine vicinities. It’s been a combination of physical labor, forestry chores and eye-opening educational experiences, all of which have contributed to improvements in the Cascade Ranger District and to the experiences that visitors will enjoy.

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