Category Archives: Employers

Idaho population projected to top 2 million by 2031

Recent population projections from the Idaho Department of Labor anticipate Idaho will continue its record of rapid growth, with the total statewide population crossing over 2 million for the first time by 2031.

The 2020 Census revealed the Gem State was the second-fastest growing state in the nation over the decade from 2010 to 2020, and single-year population estimates have ranked Idaho as the fastest-growing state for the past five years.

Idaho’s Labor Department’s latest projections anticipate a statewide growth rate of 1.1% per year over the 10-year period from 2021 to 2031, adding a total of 227,880 new residents to the state. This will raise Idaho’s population from 1,888,533 in 2021 to 2,116,413 in 2031.

All six of Idaho’s substate regions are expected to grow over the coming decade, with southwestern Idaho leading at 16.3% projected growth, followed by northern Idaho at 13%. These two regions together are expected to account for more than three quarters of the state’s total growth.

TABLE 1: Projected population growth by region

Projected Population Growth by Idaho Region

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Vacancy rates provide insight to hiring challenges

The exceptionally tight labor market in Idaho has left many employers hard-pressed to fill job openings. The monthly vacancy yield rate – the number of hires each month relative to the number of job openings at the end of the previous month – provides a barometer for employers’ ability to fill openings while its inverse provides an implied number of months to fill an opening.

An unprecedentedly tight labor market

Well before the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic disruptions it brought, the Idaho labor market would have been characterized as “tight,” but once businesses and the economy at-large reopened, the excess demand for workers relative to their supply only intensified.

One key barometer of a labor market is the ratio of job openings, or vacancies, to the unemployed, which is how macroeconomists typically define a labor market’s “tightness.” The larger the number, the more job openings are chasing after a fixed number of idle workers. For high ratios, we would typically expect to see wages rise as employers are forced to compete for limited talent; conversely, for small ratios, we would expect wages to fall as workers are forced to compete for a limited number of jobs.

Figure 1 plots the monthly job openings-to-unemployed ratio for Idaho as well as the United States for 2001-2021, adjusted for seasonality effects. For the entire sample, the average labor market tightness was about 0.81 openings for every unemployed Idahoan. Throughout 2021 the ratio hovered between 1.5 and 2, and by year’s end it reached a record 2.18.

Figure: labor market tightness

Note: Job openings are for total nonfarm jobs.
Source: Idaho Department of Labor, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Hispanics, minorities continue to boost Idaho’s economic growth

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: April 28, 2022
Media Contact: Craig.Shaul@labor.idaho.gov

The economic influence of Idaho’s minorities and Hispanic populations has continued to expand over the past 10 years and projections show it’s not likely to slow down.

Growth in buying power for nearly all cultures in Idaho outpaced the U.S. average, according to estimates provided by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia. From 2010 to 2020, Idaho experienced some of the highest multicultural consumer growth in spending across all U.S. states. White people, Black people and American Indians ranked in the top five highest percent change of consumer spending over this time period. 

Chart: growth in consumer spending 2010 to 2020, Idaho and the U.S. Continue reading

April 27 employer online seminar focuses on employee retention

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: April 21, 2022
Media contact: Clinton.Renn@labor.idaho.gov

Southeastern Idaho employers are invited to a free Zoom seminar Wednesday, April 27, 9 to 10 a.m., to discuss employee retention.

Representatives from local businesses Spudnik, A & E Engineering and East Idaho Credit Union, will share best practices on how they retain talent, followed by a Q & A with participants.

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Idaho’s March unemployment rate falls to historic low of 2.7%

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: April 15, 2022
Media Contact: Craig.Shaul@labor.idaho.gov or Karen.JarboeSingletary@labor.idaho.gov

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.7% in March – down from February’s rate of 2.8%. This marks a new record low since the series began in 1976.

The number of Idahoans employed or looking for work grew by 5,082 people (0.5%) to 932,278. Labor force participation increased by 0.2 percentage points between February and March to 62%. Idaho’s peak participation rate reached 71.4% in September 1998.

Total employment grew from February by 6,467 (0.7%) to 907,537 while total unemployment dropped by 1,385 (-5.3%) to 24,741.

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Idaho employers save time, money using SIDES E-Response for unemployment claims.

Idaho employers can save time and money by responding to information requests for unemployment insurance claims filed by former employees in a secure, electronic environment.

SIDES logoSIDES (State Information Data Exchange System) is a simple tool to help employers respond to unemployment insurance requests in a quick, accurate, automated and secure way. The system is operating in 47 states, the District of Columbia and two territories.

“Responding to claims using SIDES E-Response saves Idaho employers hours of time and effort,” said Tyler Smith, SIDES coordinator for the Idaho Department of Labor. “The system is user friendly, intuitive and much more efficient than using paper.”

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McCall Labor Office moves to 1st Street

-Mobile employment services also available in Cascade, Council and New Meadows-

Idahoans living in remote, rural areas of Idaho’s West Central Mountains can now access state employment services in Cascade, Council, McCall and New Meadows.

The Idaho Department of Labor’s McCall mobile office is operating from a new location. Central District Health Department at 701 1st St. in McCall is sharing its space for walk-in Labor customers on Mondays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., (closed from noon to 1 p.m. for lunch) and on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Additional meeting times are available by appointment.

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Labor expands its employment services in north central Idaho

-Mobile Labor locations now available in Grangeville, Kamiah, Kendrick, Moscow, Potlatch, Orofino and Weippe-

People living in remote, rural areas of north central Idaho can now access Idaho Department of Labor services at seven – soon to be eight – nearby locations.

“Our mobile offices allow us to bring our services to you,” explains Department of Labor Director Jani Revier. “With the help of our partners of local libraries, community centers, city halls and other organization, we’re in more locations than ever before.”

Idahoans throughout the state can now get help finding a new job, upgrading their skills and increasing their earning potential in more than 50 locations. All mobile Labor locations offer walk-in hours and appointments for help with writing resumes, filling out job applications, preparing for an interview, accessing job training resources, filing for unemployment insurance benefits and other services.

Labor services for businesses include support for listing jobs, recruiting employees, organizing hiring events, employer seminars and gaining access to job training programs.

Three local office employees from the Lewiston Idaho Department of Labor office visit Kendrick, Moscow and Potlatch.

The remaining five offices are managed by Monica Jones and Heather Lerandeau. Together, they deliver a wide range of employment services to local job seekers and employers in Orofino, Weippe, Grangeville, Kamiah and Riggins, which opens April 14.

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Idaho’s January Unemployment Rate Drops to 3%

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: March 14, 2022
Media Contact: Karen.JarboeSingletary@labor.idaho.gov or Craig.Shaul@labor.idaho.gov

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3% in January – down slightly from a revised December rate of 3.1%. Due to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual benchmarking process, December 2021’s unemployment rate was revised from a record low 2.4%. This realignment of labor market variables is not an indicator of any negative directional changes in the state’s economy.

The number of Idahoans employed or looking for work grew by 2,743 people (0.3%) to 924,469 – a larger over-the-month increase than during any month of 2021.

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Idaho’s High Demand for Truckers is Expected to Continue

The nationwide worker shortage in the trucking industry was an issue even before the pandemic. According to U.S. Xpress, one of the nation’s largest truckload carriers, the industry needs at least 80,000 new truckers in the U.S. (*Forbes Jan. 21, 2022 )

In Idaho, truck drivers have long been an in-demand occupation. High demand can at least partially be attributed to the state’s location, making trucking a better option than other forms of transportation.photo: semi trailer truck

Even with the Lewiston seaport, Idaho is basically landlocked and not served by an international airport. Though rail transportation is used for bulk agricultural commodities, seasonal commodity shipments do not allow for consistent rail line contracts.

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