Monthly Archives: July 2019

CodeWorks Program Prepares Students for Real-World Jobs

Photo courtesy CodeWorks




Just about everyone knows computer code runs the backend of computer systems, web sites, mobile apps and more.

When Ramsey Bland decided to apply for a 13-week immersion class at Boise CodeWorks, the only computer code he knew was the bar code on the side of a pizza box.

Bland, 23, had studied mechanical engineering at Boise State University for several years, but he couldn’t keep up with the cost of going to college full time. His job delivering pizza covered the rent, living expenses and college. It was a stretch.

When he applied for the CodeWorks immersion class, a super-intensive drill where he could learn how to write four computer languages in a little more than three months, he learned how to plan projects and solve complex problems as part of a team.

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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in June 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

  • Seattle-based hardware retailer Hardwick and Sons is moving to Post Falls after nearly 90 years in Seattle’s University District. The store’s owners cited a growing tax burden in Washington as their primary motivation for relocating to northern Idaho. Source: Journal of Business
  • Gunfighters LLC, a gun holster manufacturer based in central Washington, is relocating its operations to Rathdrum. The company cited a more “gun-friendly culture” in Idaho, as well as a lack of space in their current facilities, as their reasons for moving to northern Idaho. Source: Journal of Business
  • A new jet center owned and operated by StanCraft is set to open at the Coeur d’Alene airport. The facility, which will create about 50 jobs, will be used to update aircraft and serve as a fueling station. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The Coeur d’Alene City Council approved plans to build a $2.6 million water administration building. The project will be funded entirely with the Water Department’s reserve funds. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The city of Athol received a Community Development Block Grant from the Idaho Department of Commerce to support a $3.5 million water improvement project. City officials initiated the improvement project, noting that the city’s aging water system lacks the necessary pressure to meet Idaho environmental quality requirements. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

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Public Invited to Meetings on Unemployment Insurance Benefits Rule Changes


For Immediate Release: July 8, 2019
Information Contact: Joshua McKenna, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3919

The Idaho Department of Labor is holding public meetings about rule changes to Idaho Administrative Rules regarding unemployment insurance benefits.

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Idaho Labor Unveils New Service Model


For Immediate Release: July 8, 2019
Information Contact: Georgia Smith (208) 332-3570, ext. 2102

BOISE, Idaho – Idaho Department of Labor Director Jani Revier today announced a new statewide model that will directly serve more Idahoans.

“We are bringing the Department of Labor to the citizens of rural Idaho. This is a new way to provide service, an Idaho way, that addresses the unique regional challenges that we face in our state,” said Revier. “We want to provide more Idahoans top-notch service when they need it, where they need it in order to help them get back to work and access the benefits they are entitled to.”

The new model modernizes how the department delivers services, focusing on increasing Idaho Labor’s presence while decreasing its physical footprint. After several months of transition, there will be six primary Idaho Labor regional offices in Post Falls, Lewiston, Caldwell, Twin Falls, Pocatello and Idaho Falls. Five affiliate offices will remain in Sandpoint, Orofino, Boise, Burley and Salmon. These 11 offices will offer walk-in services.

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Measuring Underemployment in Idaho’s Counties

The unemployment rate speaks to labor market conditions including the availability of labor and the level of economic distress. But the unemployed are not the only potential pool of new hires and not the only ones experiencing economic distress.

The official definition of “unemployed” includes only those people who are jobless and have actively looked for work in the past month. “Marginally attached workers” are jobless, want to work, but have given up looking for work because they believe there are no jobs currently available for them. Then there are the workers who want to work full time but currently are working part time (less than 35 hours a week) because they are unable to find full-time jobs.

Recognizing these other forms of labor market distress, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has developed six alternative measures of labor underutilization. Find the BLS measures and descriptions at

Labor Underutilization in Idaho

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes the alternative measures of labor underutilization for the states once a year. Early this year, it released 2018 data showing Idaho had 25,900 unemployed residents, 1,000 discouraged workers, another 4,300 residents marginally attached to the labor force and 22,900 involuntary part-time workers. In total, 54,000 workers met the definitions of labor underutilization, and Idaho’s U-6 rate was 6.3 percent.

As the following two graphs below show, the number of marginally attached and involuntary part-time workers tends to grow significantly during recessions (the 2008-2010 period, for example) and decrease when unemployment is falling.

Idaho’s U-3 (official unemployment rate), U-4 (unemployed plus discouraged workers), U-5 (unemployed plus all marginally attached workers) and U-6 (unemployed with marginally attached workers and involuntary part time) are shown on the following graph.

Estimating Underutilization for Idaho Counties

To develop estimates of the alternative measures for Idaho counties, the model uses county labor force and unemployment statistics from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program, which produces the monthly unemployment rates, and the five-year estimates from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey along with the statewide measures of marginally attached workers and involuntary part-time workers. To estimate discouraged workers and marginally attached workers by county, the model assumes each county has the same ratio of workers to total unemployment as does the state.

Labor Underutilization in 2018

Another Aspect of Underemployment

Underemployment occurs when workers’ jobs do not use all their availability to work, skills and education. The alternative measures of labor underutilization only assess one form of underemployment — that of working too few hours. Measuring jobs that do not use the education or special skills of individuals would require data that is not available and difficult to quantify, and it would be a very expensive undertaking. That is why the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not measure it., regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 799-5000 ext. 3984
and, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4331