Tag Archives: economy

Economic Activity in Idaho

Here is a roundup of economic news compiled by the Idaho Department of Labor in April:

Northern Idaho

  • More than 600 students participated
    Hard Hats, Hammers and Hot Dogs.

    Hard Hats, Hammers and Hot Dogs.

    in this year’s Hard Hats, Hammers and Hot Dogs, a hands-on event sponsored by local businesses, Avista Utilities and the Idaho Department of Labor. Students learn about a variety of careers in trade industries from operating heavy equipment to welding.

  • Spokane-based Seven2 Inc. and 14Four Inc., sister companies that provide digital and Web-based design services, have roughly doubled in employment, growing from 30 to 70 with plans to add 10 more. The companies develop online and mobile application projects for clients such as Disney, Expedia and AT&T.
  • Ground Force, a Post Falls company that manufactures open-pit mining equipment, expects to hire between 100 and 125 new employees. Most of those jobs will be working in the manufacturing plant and some in engineering and administration. In addition to the new 65,000-square-foot plant, CEO Ron Nilson plans to add another 44,000-square-foot factory and an 8,200-square-foot corporate office. The company projects Ground Force’s workforce to top 400 in Post Falls.

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Employment Continues to Elude Youth

Youth unemployment has been a concern throughout this recession and well into the recovery. According to the Current Population Survey, young people are having more trouble finding employment. Labor force participants 2011 unemploymentbetween the ages of 16 and 19 especially face an annual unemployment rate three times the rate for the civilian labor force overall.

This is not just a phenomenon of the current recovery. From 2007 to 2012, younger workers have continued to have a much higher rate than that of the overall population.

While the employment situation for the country is improving, that gap is not. In 2007, unemployment among 16- to 19-year-olds averaged 11 percentage points higher than in the overall labor force. This difference peaked in 2010 at an average of over 16 percentage points. Since then, the difference has stayed roughly the same, losing only a half point in 2012. Over the same span, the unemployment rate for those 16 and older has dropped more than two percentage points.
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Economic Activity Around Idaho

idaho department of labor county developments

Here is a roundup of economic news compiled by the Idaho Department of Labor:

Northern Idaho

• Frontier Communications is returning to its old home in the former GTE building in Coeur d’Alene. The new space will have about 50 employees including the regional headquarters, sales, local operations and the main center for regional Internet traffic.

• Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp. has successfully completed acquisition of the remaining 49 percent interest in the Joaquin silver-gold project in the Santa Cruz province of Argentina from Mirasol Resources Ltd. Coeur now owns all the Joaquin project. At the same time, media sources announced the corporation may move its headquarters to Chicago from its founding location in Coeur d’Alene, where it has been for more than 80 years.

North Central Idaho

• The Idaho Department of Labor announced in December it will help pay the cost of training new employees of Ende Machine and Foundry LLC. The Workforce Development Training Fund will provide up to $144,500 to the foundry, which is the anchor tenant at the Craig Mountain Business Park in Craigmont. The foundry currently employs three people Continue reading

Idaho’s November Jobless Rate Drops to 6.8 Percent

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in November dropped below 7 percent for the first time in three and a half years as more than a thousand idled workers found new jobs. Thirty-six of the 44 counties posted declines in their jobless rates from October and all but Custer County had rates lower than a year ago.

The two-tenths of a percentage point decline statewide to 6.8 percent marked the sixth time in 13 months the jobless rate has fallen by more than a single tenth. The last time the rate was lower was March 2009. The post-recession high was 8.9 percent in July 2011.

Total employment was up 1,500 from October to over 722,200, the highest total since mid-2008 and 14,000 ahead of a year ago, as employers maintained payrolls at a stronger pace than normal for November. The number of workers without jobs fell 1,800 to below 52,400, down over 13,000 from a year ago.

But more than 300 workers dropped out of the labor force in November. It was the sixth straight month the state’s workforce has declined, essentially returning to the level it was in November 2011.

Idaho’s two-tenths of a point decline in the unemployment rate matched the national rate decline to 7.7 percent in November. Idaho’s rate has been below the national rate since September 2001.

Regular unemployment insurance benefit payments totaled $13.4 million in November paid to an average of 10,800 idled workers a week. That was down 19 percent from November 2011, and the number of claimants had fallen over 22 percent. In addition $8.3 million in federal extended benefits was paid to an average of 6,800 workers a week, about half the federal payments made a year earlier. The number of people claiming claimants extended benefits was down 42 percent.

Employers are hiring again, but the pace is slow. The 14,000 new hires Idaho businesses reported in November were almost exclusively for filling vacancies created by firings, retirements or other reasons. At their current pace, employers will hire just over 180,000 workers this year, essentially matching their hires during 2008, the first year of the recession.

In its November report, the Washington, D.C.,-based Conference Board, a business think tank, estimated there were just over two jobless workers for every job posting in Idaho. While still extremely competitive, the employment picture has significantly improved from late 2009 when nearly five unemployed workers vied for every job posting.

Read the full report here