Monthly Archives: March 2019

Employer Workshops Focus on Unemployment Insurance, Labor Laws

News Release

For Immediate Release: March 22, 2019
Information ContactBea Murphy, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3523

The Idaho Department of Labor is presenting a series of free, half-day workshops throughout the state about unemployment insurance and labor laws for employers.

The workshops will be led by unemployment insurance specialists, who will discuss updates to Idaho labor laws and help employers learn how to control unemployment insurance taxes. Topics include employee separations, responding to benefits claims, the appeals process, labor law changes, fraud and related topics.

Schedule and locations are:

March 27 – 
Meridian Department of Labor Office, 1090 E. Watertower Lane, Suite 100, Meridian
March 28 –
Canyon County Department of Labor Office, 4514 Thomas Jefferson St., Caldwell

April 10 – Boise – Idaho Correctional Industries, 1301 N. Orchard St., Suite 110, Boise
April 23 –
Sandpoint Edgewater Best Western, 56 Bridge St., Sandpoint
April 24 –
Kootenai County Department of Labor Office, 600 N. Thornton St., Post Falls
April 25 – Lewiston Hampton Inn, 2701 Nez Perce Dr., Lewiston

June 12 – Idaho Falls Department of Labor Office, 1515 E. Lincoln Road, Idaho Falls
June 13 –
Pocatello Department of Labor Office, 430 N. 5th Ave., Pocatello

Supervisors, managers, human resource specialists and others wishing to participate should reserve their space in this workshop by contacting Brad Stadsvold at (208) 332-3570 ext. 3972 or by email at Additional information is also available on Labor’s online calendar of events.

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Idaho’s February Unemployment Rate Up Slightly to 2.9 Percent


For Immediate Release:March 22, 2019

Information Contact: Craig Shaul (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201 or Karen Jarboe Singletary (208) 332-3570 ext. 3215

Fastest in the Nation for Over-the-Month Job Growth

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February increased slightly from January to 2.9 percent, the 15th consecutive month at or below 3 percent.

Idaho nonfarm jobs increased by 3,600 (up 0.5 percent) for a monthly total of  750,600. February’s increase was the fastest job growth rate in the nation and the second-largest statistically significant job increase added by any state.

The largest month-to-month industry job gains were in professional and business services (+2.3 percent), manufacturing (+1.3 percent) and education and health services (+0.7 percent). Construction, information and leisure and hospitality were the only three sectors that experienced job declines, shedding a total of 1,400 jobs. Continue reading

Idaho Records 37 Work-Related Fatalities in 2017

Idaho’s 37 work-related fatalities in 2017 was up seven from 2016, according to newly released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among data collected:

  • Transportation incidents accounted for 17 fatalities and 10 were caused by contact with objects and equipment.
  • Among private industry, the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector had the largest number of fatalities in the state with 15.
  • Men accounted for 97 percent of the work-related fatalities.

Find additional information and national comparisons in the the full news release on the  BLS website.

Additional information on the BLS website includes:

2019 Serve Idaho Conference to Focus on Giving Back

News Release

For Immediate Release: March 13, 2019
Information Contact: Renee Bade, (208) 332-3578 ext. 4061

Serve Idaho is hosting its 2019 annual conference- Giving Back Unites – March 27-28 in the Jordan Ballroom at Boise State University Student Union.

The general conference takes place March 27, 8 a.m. to 4:30. On March 28, the focus is on AmeriCorps members.

The audience for the general conference includes nonprofit and volunteer management professionals, AmeriCorps members and program directors, and individuals hoping to increase their skillset in volunteer and nonprofit management.

Luke Mickelson

Stephanie Taylor-Silva






Continue reading

Idaho’s January Unemployment Rate Steady at 2.8 Percent

News Release

For Immediate Release: March 11, 2019
Information Contact: Craig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201 or Karen Jarboe Singletary (208) 332-3570 ext. 3215

Third Fastest in the Nation for Over-the-Month Job Growth

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 2.8 percent – the third consecutive month at this rate and the 14th consecutive month at or below 3 percent following the benchmarking of 2018 estimates.


The slight increase of Idaho’s seasonally adjusted over-the-month nonfarm payroll jobs was the third fastest in the nation – increasing by 4,500 in January to 746,800.


The biggest month-to-month industry job gains, all at or above 1 percent, were in construction, manufacturing, other services, financial activities, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality. Information and government were the only two sectors that experienced job declines.

Among Idaho’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), month over month, the Coeur d’Alene MSA was the fastest growing at 1.4 percent growth or 900 jobs.


An additional 2,052 people entered the workforce from December to January, pushing Idaho’s seasonally adjusted labor force number up to 864,446. Total employment increased by 1,438 to 840,074, and the number of unemployed increased by 614 to 24,372.   Continue reading

Around Idaho: Economic Activity in February 2019

Information provided in this article is from professional sources, news releases, weekly and daily newspapers, television and other media.

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


NORTHERN IDAHO – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone counties

Kootenai County

    • Coeur d’Alene-based business incubator Innovation Collective has announced plans to expand and open operations into nine new communities including Sandpoint, Lewiston, Pocatello and Kellogg. The Innovation Collective provides a variety of services aimed at promoting creativity and collaboration while providing space for entrepreneurial activity. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
    • The city of Coeur d’Alene announced that work on the development of the city’s Atlas Mill site is expected to begin this year. The site – a stretch of undeveloped waterfront property along the Spokane River – was purchased by the city in 2018. The new plans outlined by the city call for the space to be developed into a park with a trail system and swimming areas. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
    • Ignite CDA – Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal agency – is seeking public input on two competing developments proposed for midtown Coeur d’Alene. The agency is seeking to develop a mixed-use development with both commercial space and residential units, and is seeking public input on two competing proposals for the development. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
    • Work is moving forward on the demolition of defunct structures on the site of the former Garden Motel in Coeur d’Alene to clear space for the construction of a new 113-room Marriott Fairfield hotel. The project was delayed after Marriott updated its hotel prototypes, which compelled developers to seek new building permits for the Coeur d’Alene site. Developers anticipate the new hotel opening in spring 2020. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

Continue reading

Interest Rates and Idaho’s Housing Market

As an era of low interest mortgage rates appears to be ending and housing prices and interest rates shift steadily higher, many homeowners may find their affordable monthly mortgage payment increasingly difficult to cover.

A prolonged post-recessionary period of low interest rates increased homebuyer purchasing power allowed home prices to rise far beyond levels household income might otherwise allow. The result is a housing market where prices are detached from household income and interest rates – rather than income – are a main driver of economic activity.

Mortgage rates were in a long slow decline prior to the 2007 – 2008 housing market crash which provoked even lower rates. For nearly 10 years afterwards, homebuyers consistently enjoyed mortgage rates well below 5 percent.1

chart of 30-year mortgage rates

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Continue reading

Idaho Labor’s Unemployment Technology Tool Gains National Attention

News Release

For Immediate Release: March 7, 2019
Information Contact: Mark Mayfield, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3693

The Idaho Department of Labor was recognized for being the first state to implement a technology tool verifying unemployment insurance information for individuals filing for benefits in Idaho while living in another state. This ultimately safeguards taxpayer money from waste, fraud and abuse.

Pictured are Mark Mayfield, left, Idaho Department of Labor, and Jon Pierpont, NASWA board president.

“I credit our dedicated team of business and IT professionals whose efforts allowed us to successfully launch the Interstate Connection Network Relay system (ICON Relay) to quickly confirm the authenticity of benefit claims from out of state,” said Mark Mayfield, executive director over IT modernization for unemployment insurance.

Find out more about the ICON Relay system and Idaho Labor’s Merrill Baumgardner Innovation in Information Technology Award presented by the National Association of State Workforce Agencies Technology Committee on the NASWA website.

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Public Invited to Comment on Proposed Update to WIOA Eligible Training Provider Policy

News Release

For Immediate Release: March 5, 2019
Information Contact: Cheryl Foster, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3213

Training providers and interested members of the public are invited to submit comments concerning a proposed change in the approved Idaho Policy for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Eligible Training Providers.

The proposed change is in the methodology for approving programs of training services under Idaho’s (WIOA) Title I-B programs. This methodology would replace the existing Appendix A to the policy.

Review the current approved Idaho Policy for WIOA Eligible Training Providers and the proposed new Appendix A online.

They are posted on the Idaho Department of Labor Eligible Training Provider Web page at

Please submit all comments on the proposed Appendix A by email to The policy committee will review the comments received prior to March 13, 2019, before making a final recommendation to the Workforce Development Council on April 11, 2019.

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