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 – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone counties
- The Coeur d’Alene tribe plans to pursue a claim to water rights in Benewah and Kootenai counties. This means that the tribe will move forward with court proceedings to establish that it has exclusive rights to use Lake Coeur d’Alene within tribal reservation boundaries. Source: St. Maries Gazette Record
- Sandpoint and the Kootenai-Ponderay Sewer District are conducting a wastewater treatment study in response to tightened permitting rules from the Environmental Protection Agency. The study will assess what changes, if any, need to be made before the EPA will renew a permit allowing the discharge of wastewater into local waterways. Source: Bonner County Daily Bee
The development of products such as the personal computer, the World Wide Web and cloud-storage have completely changed the way companies generate, store and analyze their data, turning into what is now considered the Big Data Revolution.
The development and growth of big data has forced companies to transform the way they do business. As the Idaho and national economies continue to integrate with the global marketplace, the ability to organize, analyze and understand data is becoming increasingly important. Businesses that successfully couple their own data with other available data sources and understand the questions to be asked can gain a strong competitive advantage in the global marketplace.
The Idaho Department of Labor launched a new Claimant Portal in November. The Claimant Portal is a secure online application that claimants use to apply for unemployment insurance benefits, file weekly certification applications (previously called continued claim reports) and view claimant information.
The updated application offers new features to allow claimants to access information about their unemployment claim and weekly certifications (previously called continued claims) online.
Here are answers to frequently asked questions:
How do I get started on the new Claimant Portal?
The first step is to begin a New User Registration in the Claimant Portal. To begin this registration visit labor.idaho.gov/ClaimantPortal and click on New User Registration.
For more detailed instructions on how to apply for unemployment insurance benefits, follow this guide.
Idaho’s recovery from the recession has been among the strongest of any U.S. state. Over the past five years, Idaho has consistently ranked near or at the top in the rate of growth for employment. Idaho, significantly, does not suffer from imbalanced or lopsided growth, where one or two industries are growing while the rest of the economy struggles. Idaho has enjoyed job growth across a wide variety of sectors. The balance of this job growth can be measured using a variant called the Diffusion Index.
When evaluating job growth, it is preferable to see growth in all sectors of the economy. Some states, like North Dakota for example, experienced rapid job growth associated with a boom in oil drilling. While the oil industry is a strong employer that brings many economic benefits, it is a more stable scenario to have a diversified economy.
So you want to volunteer this holiday season but might not know where to start? Here are a few volunteer opportunities in Idaho this holiday season.
Winter Garden aGlow, Boise
Talk about having a great view while you’re volunteering. Winter Garden aGlow takes place at the Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise from Nov. 26 to New Year’s Day. The Winter Garden aGlow is a walk through a Christmas light and decoration show boasting more than 300,000 displayed lights. Volunteer shifts are 4.5 hours, and there is a variety of available positions varying from taking tickets, monitoring paths, serving complimentary cocoa and cider, handing out candy canes and many more opportunities. A full list can be found at http://idahobotanicalgarden.org/winter-garden-aglow/. Contact: Karen Christeson at (208) 275-8605, firstname.lastname@example.org
Secret Santa Volunteers, Pocatello
Want to help out with Secret Santa but your budget might be a little too tight to participate? The Salvation Army in Pocatello is looking for volunteers at its Angel Tree site in the Pine Ridge Mall until Dec. 24. Volunteers will collect information from people wishing to participate in the program as well as collect and document the gifts brought in. Volunteer positions also are available to help with sorting, packing and distributing donated gifts. Contact Information: Julie Christiansen, (208) 232-5318, Julie.email@example.com
Calculating the Cost of Employee Turnover
Businesses need to know how much turnover costs their organization. The Center for Economic Policy and Research Turnover Calculator allows businesses to calculate the turnover costs for different categories of workers. Answers to questions about wages, weekly hours and recruiting and hiring costs are best if they come from human resources professionals or business owners who handle their own staffing. Turnover costs also vary for different types of employees. Paid sick days, market wages, workforce training and work sharing are listed as ways to help decrease turnover costs. – Center for Economic Policy and Research
Census Data to Help You Start or Grow a Business
The Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition allows small business owners a way to easily navigate to and use key demographic and economic data to guide their research into opening a new or expanding an existing business. Easy-to-use menus allows researchers and company relocation experts to select their type of business and potential business location. An interactive map allows selection of an area to explore for business opportunities, including comparisons to neighboring areas. And dynamically generated, downloadable and printable business county- and city-level reports (including trend charts) can be easily incorporated into business plans and research results. There are even several easy-to-use tutorial videos on how to use the Census Business Builder. For more information, visit https://cbb.census.gov/sbe/. -U.S. Census Bureau
Information provided in this article is gathered from professional sources, news releases, weekly and daily newspapers, television and other media.
NORTHERN IDAHO – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone counties
- Kootenai County has proposed to implement a permitting system to help track and regulate short-term vacation rentals. The issue arose over concerns that the short-term rental of homes to vacationers violates zoning laws by turning residential properties into de-facto hotels. The proposed regulations will aim to level the playing field between homeowners and traditional hotels and bed and breakfasts. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
- A massive windstorm in November felled hundreds of trees and left 8,300 residents of Kootenai County without power, on top of 113,000 without power in Spokane. The widespread outages across the region strained the ability of utility companies to quickly restore power, even after mobilizing all their available line crews. The Kootenai County Board of Commissioners issued a declaration of disaster, authorizing local authorities to spend whatever they deem necessary to deal with the effects of the storm. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Idaho’s telephone call center jobs have helped urban areas and their surrounding towns train, sometimes re-train and gainfully employ their local workforce.
Telephone call centers have developed a concentration in Idaho, employ 9,300 workers and inhabit every region in Idaho except for one, north-central Idaho near Lewiston. Despite the lower-than-average wages, these centers also provide entry-level employment that benefits local communities and surrounding areas.
Telephone call centers tend to locate in Idaho’s urban areas because of the need for larger pools of workers and accessible commercial air service.
Based on the location-quotient, Idaho ranks second behind Utah among its regional neighbors for the concentration of call centers. The comparative concentration of workers is commonly referred to as the location quotient. Anything higher than ‘1’ indicates a greater concentration of jobs in that industry than the nation’s. Idaho’s LQ is 3.02 while Utah is 3.38. Surrounding states such as Montana, Wyoming and Nevada either have a different concentration of industries, or their job base as a whole is too large for call centers to achieve a high level of concentration. Washington and Oregon have a large industry base and are too diverse to report such concentrations.
One sign of an improving economy is that voluntary separations from employment increase. As unemployment rate drops, workers feel more confident that they can find work, so they leave current jobs. The result is increasing turnover for businesses, requiring employers to spend more effort on both recruiting and retaining workers.
Turnover costs are high. The Society for Human Resource Management estimates it costs $3,341 to hire a new employee. For some high-skilled workers, the costs of recruiting a replacement may be as high as two years’ salary. Turnover costs not only include the cost of recruiting new workers but also training and orientation. It also includes the cost of lost business because new workers don’t know how to provide good customer service or accidentally break equipment or products.
Love it or hate it, the holiday season for retailers is a crazy extravaganza of shopping and consumerism. More shopping days besides Black Friday are getting their own names such as Gray Thursday and Cyber Monday.
The evolution of the shopping tradition fuels the economic life and hiring of retail in the final quarter of the year and influences the pattern of hiring holiday help in Idaho. This year, with the unemployment rate down to 4.0 percent, establishments looking for holiday help may have a hard time finding the employees they need.