Category Archives: Employment News

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
Southeastern
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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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 https://www.bls.gov/lau/stalt.htm.

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.

Kathryn.Tacke@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 799-5000 ext. 3984
and
Esther.Eke@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4331

Around Idaho: Economic Activity in May 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

  • TDS Metrocom, a high-speed internet service provider, announced it will be expanding to Kootenai County over the next three years, bringing gigabit-speed internet to commercial and residential customers. The company plans to grow its Kootenai operation in stages, with initial hiring of about 30 employees before ramping up to a full scale of roughly 200 workers by the end of 2022. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Kitchen Solvers – a Wisconsin-based retailer of cabinets, flooring and tiles – has leased a new location in the Riverbend complex in Post Falls and plans to open a new franchise location to serve Kootenai County. Source: Spokane-Kootenai Journal of Business
  • Cereset, a wellness company, has opened a new franchise in Coeur d’Alene. The company uses non-invasive therapies to help patients mitigate stress and improve their sleep habits. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Two new automobile dealerships opened in Coeur d’Alene. Both Amstutz Family Auto and High Caliber Auto Sales opened used car dealerships and full-service repair shops. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The city of Post Falls announced plans to turn a former thrift store location into a recreation center, which will support community activities and classes including dancing, gymnastics and adult fitness activities. The city expects the outdoor facilities – including soccer fields and children’s spaces – to open in the fall, with the indoor facilities following in the winter. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Openings

  • Mountain America Credit Union in Post Falls
  • Paragon Brewing in Coeur d’Alene
  • Relax and Recover Wellness Center in Coeur d’Alene
  • Newhomes in Coeur d’Alene

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

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Idaho’s Forest Products Sector: Hopeful for Stable 2019

Forest products, a traditional mainstay sector in Idaho, continues to play an important role in many Idaho communities. Idaho’s forest products sector — logging, wood product mills, paper factories and furniture manufacturing — provided more than 11,700 jobs in 2018. In addition, a few thousand more worked at trucking companies transporting logs, wood products and pulp.

Employment has grown 35 percent from the recession-caused low point of 8,705 in 2010, but it is still 18 percent below its 2006 peak of 14,327 and far below its heyday in the 1970s.

Source: Idaho Department of Labor

The job losses mostly resulted from the impact of technology, which allows a mill to produce twice as much lumber today as it did 25 years ago with the same number of workers and from reduced timber harvests from Forest Service land following changes in policies that occurred in the 1990s. From 1990 to 2000, the timber harvest on federal lands in Idaho fell from 704 million to 149 million board feet.

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Idaho Population Shift from Rural to Urban Counties Continued in 2018

In-Migration Accounted for 73 Percent of Idaho’s Population Increase

Idaho’s population continued to become more urbanized from mid-2017 to mid-2018, with nearly 73 percent of the growth coming from outside the state, newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows. The data provides additional detail at the county level to the January release that showed Idaho’s 2.1 percent population increase tied with Nevada as the fastest-growing state in the nation.

The Boise Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) population grew by 2.9 percent – the eighth fastest among the nation’s 383 other MSAs. The five counties that comprise the Boise MSA – Ada, Boise, Canyon, Gem and Owyhee counties – increased by 20,346 people accounting for 58 percent of the state’s total increase of 35,304. The concentration of more than half of Idaho’s growth in the Boise MSA typifies the continued steady shift toward urbanization of the state’s population from rural to urban counties.

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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in April 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

  • Post Falls based manufacturer Quest Integration Inc. leased a new facility in the Tedder Office Park and plans to expand its 3D printing operations with the new space. Source: Spokane-Kootenai Journal of Business
  • Washington-based Crawl Space Cleaning Pros has leased warehousing space in Post Falls and is in the process of opening its first Idaho location. The company specializes in environmentally friendly cleanup and insulation of crawl spaces. Source: Spokane-Kootenai Journal of Business
  • After a series of public hearings, the Coeur d’Alene Panning Commission approved plans for a new apartment complex in the city’s Riverstone development. The new complex will feature five-story apartment blocks as part of the city’s recent move toward higher-density construction. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Kootenai County released a proposed update of its comprehensive plan, titled Keeping Kootenai, for community input. In 2010, the county released a strategic plan which consisted of 347 different goals and policy statements, which county officials said were difficult to interpret and implement. The new strategic plan is designed to be simplified and streamlined for ease of implementation. 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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Idaho Construction Employment Building Back to Pre-Recession Level

The level of construction activity is one of many indicators that signal the health of an economy. Currently, Idaho’s scenery is dotted with construction projects ranging from heavy construction infrastructure ventures to commercial buildings to single- and multi-family homes and residential housing projects.

This was not the case after the Great Recession (December 2007 to June 2009) squelched Idaho’s strong housing industry, resulting in a loss of almost 23,000 jobs based on quarterly employer reports to the Idaho Department of Labor. Construction was one of the hardest hit industries during that time and continues to rebuild in all six Idaho regions.

Idaho’s construction industry has grown by 127 percent from 1991-2018. It has experienced more periods of growth than downturns in jobs since 1991, as shown in Chart 1.

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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in March 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

  • Medical services continue to expand in Kootenai County. Inland Northwest Therapy, a pediatric physical, speech and occupational therapy clinic, is opening a new location in Post Falls. Resilience Psychiatric Medicine is also opening a new facility in Coeur d’Alene. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
  • Hospice of North Idaho has started construction on a $1.8 million expansion to its inpatient facilities to help meet Kootenai County’s growing need for end-of-life care. The expansion will add patient rooms and additional space for families, and it is expected to be completed by September. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
  • Coeur d’Alene City officials are working with the Idaho Transportation Department to rework traffic signaling on key transit corridors. Traffic congestion in Coeur d’Alene has increased substantially as the population has grown, and city officials believe that turning control of the signaling over to ITD will help alleviate congestion. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • After failing to find a buyer, Shopko announced it will be closing all of its remaining stores over the summer, and the closure of its Coeur d’Alene location is now slated for June 16. The Coeur d’Alene Shopko was initially not on the company’s closure list when it announced a restructuring plan in January. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Viking Builders will construct a new subdivision in Hayden. The new development will include 52 single-family homes on a 20 acre parcel, in addition to lots for commercial space. Construction will begin after the completion of a new sewer lift station this spring. (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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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:

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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