Author Archives: Idaho Department of Labor

About Idaho Department of Labor

Our vision is to be Idaho’s first choice for employment services. We connect job seekers with Idaho employers, deliver employment services to Idaho businesses and support people during career and life transitions.

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
Southeastern
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

Sam.Wolkenhauer@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

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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

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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 www.labor.idaho.gov/ETP.

Please submit all comments on the proposed Appendix A by email to WIOAPlan@labor.idaho.gov. 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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Idaho’s 2018 Annual Average Unemployment Rate Remains at 2.8 Percent

News Release

For Immediate Release: Feb. 28, 2019
Information Contact: Karen Jarboe Singletary, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3215 or Robert Kabel, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3886

Idaho’s statewide seasonally adjusted annual average unemployment rate remained at 2.8 percent for 2018 according to benchmarked numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

BLS’ annual benchmark process is conducted in cooperation with the Idaho Department of Labor and includes re-estimations based on updated data from the U.S. Census Bureau, BLS and other sources.

Idaho’s annual average total labor force increased by 2.6 percent between 2017 and 2018 to 856,795. Total employment increased by 3.1 percent and the total number of unemployed dropped 9.6 percent from 2017. Continue reading

A Deeper Look: Idaho Job Skills by Region

What are the essential job skills of today and how prepared is Idaho’s current workforce to tackle the skill requirements of future work?

An increased emphasis on making sure employees have the skills they need today is shifting the conversation toward identifying the most relevant skills necessary for the jobs of tomorrow.

This analysis draws on information from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network (O*NET) database, a useful tool in identifying work competencies in the labor market. O*NET uses surveys of employees and occupational experts to determine the important characteristics and requirements of more than 900 occupations. Its content model identifies, among other things, the different mix of knowledge, skills and abilities required by each occupation as a standardized, measurable set of variables. This article focuses on just the skill requirements.

What are the essential job skills required in the marketplace?

Skills are broadly defined as strategies and procedures for acquiring and working with the knowledge that comes with experience and practice (Tippins & Hilton, 2010). The O*NET skills taxonomy identifies 35 skills considered necessary for a wide range of jobs and tasks. These skills are divided into basic and cross-functional skills. Basic skills describe the capacities an individual has that assist in the learning process and acquisition of knowledge. Skills such as reading comprehension, writing, active learning and critical thinking are included in this grouping. Cross-functional skills refer to competencies such as social skills, complex problem solving, technical skills, systems skills and resource management skills.

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Idaho Teens Earn National Volunteer Award

News Release

For Immediate Release: Feb. 26, 2019
Information Contact: Renee Bade

Idaho teens Sarah Picker of Boise and Alexander Knoll of Post Falls were awarded the 2019 Prudential Spirit of Community Award. The award program, in its 24th year, honors young people in each state for outstanding acts of volunteerism.

Picker and Knoll will be awarded $1,000 each, an engraved medallion and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., for four days of national recognition events along with the top two honorees for the other 49 states.

Picker, 17, a senior at Boise Senior High School, has raised and trained four puppies over the past seven years to be service dogs for the Boise chapter of Guide Dogs for the Blind. She became involved after her older sister read a book about a “puppy raiser” and decided to give it a try.

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Idaho Labor Research Emphasizes Value of Education and Training

News Release

For Immediate Release: Feb. 25, 2019
Information ContactCraig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201

— New Poster With Income Details Now Available —

Idaho Department of Labor research shows education beyond high school can mean higher wages, more promotional opportunities and fewer chances of being unemployed.

In Idaho the average worker with a bachelor’s degree earns $461 dollars more each week than the average worker with only a high school diploma. This difference adds up quickly to $23,972 per year and nearly three quarters of a million dollars – $719,160 – over the course of a person’s prime working years. The gap is substantially larger for workers with advanced degrees like master’s and doctorate degrees.

Workers with higher levels of education are also far less likely to be unemployed. Last year, the Idaho unemployment rate for workers with bachelor’s degrees was only 2.5 percent, compared with 4.6 percent for those with only high school diplomas. The disparity in unemployment rates is even higher when the economy is performing poorly. During the most recent recession the unemployment rates for workers with only high school diplomas reached as high as 11 percent. In comparison, unemployment among workers with college degrees never reached higher than 5 percent during that time.

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Idaho Labor Helps Premier Technology Launch Registered Apprenticeship Program

News Release

For Immediate Release: Feb. 12, 2019
Information Contact: John Russ, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3303

Premier Technology in Blackfoot is the most recent company in Idaho to earn a certificate establishing its first Registered Apprenticeship program. Premier’s new apprenticeship for machinists became registered with the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship for meeting national standards.

The idea took root after Premier’s Human Resources Manager Nicole Simpson attended a presentation at Idaho State University, where the Idaho Department of Labor and Idaho Career and Technical Education shared information about how to establish an apprenticeship program and its benefits. With support from Premier’s management, Simpson got in touch with John Russ, the Apprenticeship Idaho coordinator at Labor.

“It was daunting to see all this information about registered apprenticeships and figure out how to put this program together, but the Department of Labor made it very easy,” Simpson said.

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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in January 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
Southeastern
Eastern Idaho

 

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

  • Thomas Tedder, founder and CEO of Post Falls holster manufacturer Tedder Industries, has sold a majority share in the manufacturer to a Texas-based investment group. Tedder said he would phase out of the CEO role over the following months and focus on his real estate concerns at his other company, Tedder Properties. Source: Spokane-Kootenai Journal of Business
  • Two new urban renewal districts have been proposed in the city of Rathdrum. Amid record growth, Rathdrum’s urban renewal agency has conducted eligibility studies to create two new renewal districts aimed at improving a total of 155 acres worth of lots. Currently, construction on the lots in question is blocked by gas and power lines that create “hurdles” to development, which would be remediated by the proposed renewal projects. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Kootenai County’s commissioners are preparing to revisit the controversial new building permit opt-out provisions. The provision, adopted last year, allows builders on unincorporated lots in Kootenai County to opt out of county building codes. The new board of commissioners – two of the three commissioners are newly elected – plans to revisit the opt-out provision, starting with a series of public hearings. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • North Idaho College was awarded a three-year federal grant worth $675,607. It will use the funds to launch a new NIC Venture Center, which will support the college’s entrepreneurial programs. The Venture Center will feature new educational programming for entrepreneurship, as well as a rapid prototype lab for manufacturing. In 2017, NIC was named Entrepreneurial College of the Year by the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Openings in Coeur d’Alene

  • Terre Coffee and Bakery
  • Great Expectations Painting
  • Schwartz Law

Sam.Wolkenhauer@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

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