Category Archives: Employment News

One-Third of Idaho Jobs Can Be Performed by Teleworking

-Data suggests jobs performed at home pay more-

With social distancing measures in place to limit the spread of COVID-19, many workers are transitioning to working from home. One in three Idaho jobs are fully suited for telework. The rest are most vulnerable to unemployment during a pandemic. As Idaho’s economy rapidly adapts to remote work, access to high-speed broadband – particularly in the more rural parts of the state – is critical.

The Rise of Teleworking

The full extent of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still to be determined, but early signs show the impact on jobs to be significant. As of May 2, 2020, the state of Idaho recorded a record high 125,306 initial claims for unemployment benefits during the seven weeks of the COVID-19 state of emergency. Nationally, the economy lost a staggering 20.5 million jobs in April, bumping the unemployment rate to 14.7 percent.

Along with the unprecedented job losses is a rapid trend towards remote work. To comply with social distancing and stay-at-home orders, employees who can are increasingly being allowed to work from home. Latest trends in online job postings show that while online job postings overall have fallen in recent months, postings specifically labeled as work-from-home are on the rise. The number of new Idaho work-from-home job postings jumped 49 percent from February to March 2020 and 2.4 percent from March to April. In contrast, Idaho job postings overall declined nearly 40 percent from March to April alone.

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Job Postings Drop in Response to COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps through the nation, tracking its impact on the labor market in real-time is necessary, yet challenging, as data to capture the rapid changes occurring on a daily basis is rarely available.

Weekly initial unemployment insurance claims data is currently the best real-time economic indicator available to capture the supply side of the labor market – it gives some indication of how many people are newly unemployed every week. Job postings are another important indicator providing valuable insight into the demand side of the job market and how employers are responding to the crisis. Continue reading

Idaho’s Small Businesses Feel Impact of COVID-19

The second half of March saw an unprecedented surge in the number of unemployment claims filed in Idaho. During the week ending March 28 alone, the state recorded more than 32,000 initial claims – more than 3,000 percent greater than the number of claims just two weeks prior. Between March 15 and April 25, Idahoans filed 117,811 new claims.

A significant number of the jobless claims can be attributed to closures of restaurants, a vast majority of which are small enterprises with under 50 employees. According to the 2019 Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, 94 percent of all restaurants in the state have fewer than 50 employees, and these small enterprises account for 77 percent of industry employment.

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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in April 2020

Information provided in these news updates 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

Benewah County

  • The Federal Communications Commission has approved $521,000 in funding for Red-Spectrum Communications, a broadband provider owned by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, to expand access in Benewah County. Source: Journal of Business

Bonner County

  • The U.S. District Court has approved Tamarack Aerospace’s proposed reorganization plan. The Sandpoint winglet manufacturer has been pursuing a reorganization to allow it to emerge from ongoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Source: Journal of Business
  • Percussionaire, a Sandpoint manufacturer, has received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to produce and distribute a new compact ventilator. The company has also massively ramped up production, from their typical rate of roughly 100 ventilators a month, to more than 1,000 per week. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Kootenai County

  • Local food banks are facing significantly higher needs from the community in the wake of COVID-19-related job losses. The Kroc Center and the Silver Lake Mall are now hosting distribution of food as well as personal protective equipment and hygiene products. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Despite economic disruption from COVID-19, some construction has proceeded apace in Kootenai County. The Atlas Mill Site development project is moving forward, although construction has not yet begun, and commercial construction in Hayden is still occurring. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The Coeur Group, a volunteer group of professionals in Kootenai County, is providing a variety of services to affected residents through their COVID-19 task force. Services include running errands for health-compromised individuals who cannot go out in public, in addition to providing financial assistance to households struggling to meet basic expenses. 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 Industries Most Affected by COVID-19

COVID-19 is having substantial economic impacts and causing significant job losses as non-essential businesses close. In Idaho, unemployment insurance claims spiked following implementation of Idaho’s stay-home order, with nearly 110,000 total claims filed in the first five weeks following the statewide emergency order. Since then, weekly initial claims averages are roughly 18 times greater than the weekly average in 2019.

While it will take time to understand the full economic impact of COVID-19, it is not too early to detect job loss patterns. Some industries are losing more jobs than others, and while some industry losses are not surprising — like movie theaters, restaurants and salons — others may be counterintuitive. Despite the strain on some parts of the health care industry to treat COVID-19, health care workers are losing their jobs because patients are putting off routine medial care and elective surgeries. Other people are avoiding emergency rooms and urgent care clinics due to fears of contracting COVID-19.

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COVID-19 and Idaho’s Economy – The First Six Weeks

COVID-19 slammed Idaho’s economy in March, causing the most sudden and largest job losses ever. At first, most of the job losses occurred in the tourism industry, as fear of COVID-19 reduced international travel, then domestic travel. Then conventions were canceled, schools closed, classes moved online and the dominoes kept falling. Every day, more businesses shut down or laid off its workers. On March 25, Gov. Brad Little issued a statewide 21-day stay-home order and required non-essential businesses to close.

In the six weeks since the coronavirus began affecting Idaho’s economy, 117,811 claims were filed — 13.5 percent of all Idaho residents who were employed before the crisis.

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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in March 2020

This March edition of “Around Idaho” was postponed due to unexpected delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This article is being published to provide a record of the economic climate across the state during March 2020.

Information provided in these news updates 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

  • Effective Monday, March 23, all restaurants and bars in Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene and Hayden were closed to dine-in customers for two weeks to improve social distancing measures in response to COVID-19. Drive-thru and pickup service is still allowed. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The Coeur d’Alene Public Library announced an indefinite closure due to COVID 19 on March 16. On March 21 they announced the suspension of curbside book pickup, out of concern that it was encouraging people to gather outside the library. Patrons were instructed to hold on to items currently on loan until the library reopens. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Mountain West Bank has closed the lobbies in all its Idaho facilities. Drive thru banking service will still be available. (Source: Coeur d’Alene Press)
  • Area schools are closed to prevent the spread of COVID 19. Public school districts are closed until conditions improve, according to the State Board of Education criteria. CDA Charter Academy and North Idaho STEM Charter Academy have both transitioned completely to online learning. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Openings

  • Bi-Mart, Rathdrum
  • Doggy Style Pet Grooming, Coeur d’Alene

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

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Regional COVID-19 Pandemic Weekly Update – May 1, 2020

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has created unprecedented disruptions to the economy. Each week in March and April brought news and developments that were historic and overshadowed the previous week’s developments. It has been impossible to keep up with the magnitude and volume of the economic impact affecting Idaho and its regions.

To document this event in Idaho, and the changes our state is experiencing from week to week, the Idaho Department of Labor is providing a weekly update. Pertinent events and data as it becomes available will be provided for each region in Idaho, the state as a whole and the context of the national economy.

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Regional COVID-19 Pandemic Weekly Update – April 24, 2020

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has created unprecedented disruptions to the economy. Each week in March brought news and developments that were historic and overshadowed the previous week’s developments. It has been impossible to keep up with the magnitude and volume of the economic impact affecting Idaho and its regions.

To document this event in Idaho, and the changes our state is experiencing from week to week, the Idaho Department of Labor is providing a weekly update. Pertinent events and data as it becomes available will be provided for each region in Idaho, the state as a whole and the context of the national economy.

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Census Provides Snapshots of Idaho’s Reservation Populations

In the early 1980s, two economic consultants presented information about the 1980 Census to professors and students in the economics department at the University of Idaho. They excitedly announced that the Nez Perce were one of the richest tribes in the United States with extremely low poverty and unemployment rates. The audience was stunned. That did not jive with what they knew. Then, someone asked the key question, “Did you use data for the tribe or the reservation?” The consultants said the reservation, which they thought was the same as the tribe. But they were wrong. While the Nez Perce Reservation had a population of roughly 17,800 in 1980, only about 1,500 residents were Native American.

The Dawes Act of 1887 led to a large number of white settlers buying land from tribal members throughout the West. As a consequence, Native Americans make up only 26 percent of the residents living on Idaho reservations. The following table shows the total and Native American  populations of Idaho’s five reservations, and that the Native American  population has been growing faster than the total population on the reservations.

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