Washington State’s Minimum Wage Hike Affects Idaho Businesses

The state of Washington’s high minimum wage puts pressure on wages in northern Idaho, especially in the communities closest to the border — Lewiston, Moscow, Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and the Priest River area. With Washington’s jump from $9.47 to $11 per hour on Jan. 1, 2017, wage pressures on the Idaho side increased.

In November 2015, the Washington Legislature approved Initiative 1433, which will increase its minimum wage incrementally until it reaches $13.50 an hour in 2020. After that, it will automatically increase with the cost of living. Three other states – Arizona, Colorado and Maine – also passed initiatives in November increasing their minimum wages. All three will raise their wages incrementally until they reach $12 in 2020. Prior to the election, California, New York and Oregon already established pathways to $12 an hour or more in the coming years. Altogether, 29 states and the District of Columbia now have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. In addition, some cities impose minimum wages above their states’ minimum wages. For example, Seattle’s minimum wage for larger employers is set to increase to $15 by 2020.

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Around Idaho: May 2017 Economic Activity

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

  • The city of Coeur d’Alene entered into an agreement to purchase 47 acres of waterfront property, which was vacated when Stimson Lumber closed its operations there in 2005. Several private sector efforts to develop the property have fallen through over the years due to ambiguity regarding the lot’s zoning and environmental cleanup requirements. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The city of Post Falls plans to pursue an Idaho Community Development block grant to add additional parking in the city center. Inadequate public parking has led to a several cases of illegal parking and damage to private property. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Kootenai County Commissioners approved several changes to the Citylink bus system, including new fares and reduced hours of operation. The changes reflect the need to pursue a more sustainable and effective public transportation service. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The Innovation Collective plans to turn the historic Elks Building in downtown Coeur d’Alene into the “Innovation Den,” which will include office space, a coffee shop, meeting space and a private bar. Among the tenants already lined up are a robotics company, a venture capital firm and an intellectual property law firm. Source: Spokane-Kootenai Journal of Business

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Looking for Your First Job? These Resume Tips Can Get You Started

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As the school year and graduation festivities end, many graduates may find themselves without a job or direction on how to find one. Whether looking for a summer job or your first professional entry-level position, there are many things to consider when creating your resume. A resume highlights skills, accomplishments, knowledge and experiences.

Getting Started

Before creating a resume, collect all information on previous job history, educational background and skills, as well as other accomplishments that will relate to the position for which you are applying. Make sure you tailor your resume to fit each position.

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Workforce Development Training Fund Grant Helps Meet Demand for Radiation Safety Technicians

A $96,000 Workforce Development Training grant has helped Eastern Idaho Technical College (EITC) restart its Radiation Safety Training program. This grant is not only helping the college to resupply the workforce pipeline with qualified technicians needed to replace the aging workforce as they retire but is also making a difference in the lives of the people enrolled in this program by providing a low-cost training option that translates to high wages.

The program, which consists of two semesters in the classroom and an eight-week summer internship, prepares students to become radiation control technicians. The students perform a critical function at the Idaho National Laboratory and other Department of Energy (DOE) sites by monitoring and controlling radiation levels at the worksite to help ensure the safety of the people who work there. “The only other place to offer any kind of radiation safety training in this area is in Washington and they don’t teach the radiation contact information needed at DOE sites,” said Mahlon Heileson, radiation safety program instructor.

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Idaho’s Alternative Measures of Unemployment Show Significant Improvement in 2016

While the number of unemployed Idahoans has steadily declined since May 2009, jobless rates for broader definitions of unemployed – such as discouraged, underemployed and marginally attached workers – improved significantly in 2016.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) identifies six measures, or categories, of unemployment rates based on varying components of the labor force – U-1, U-2, U-3, U-4, U-5 and U-6. (See Figure 1 for definitions.) In Idaho, the official unemployment rate falls into the U-3 category.

Idaho’s broadest measure, U-6, improved to No. 12 in the nation in 2016, three spots better than last year and 23 spots better than the No.35 ranking in 2009 as the nation was coming out of the Great Recession. The U-6 rate is the broadest formal measure of labor underutilization – or underemployment – the BLS reports. It’s determined by the total number of unemployed persons, plus all marginally attached workers, plus the total number of workers who are employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers, Many economists use this definition as the most statistically reliable measure because it uses the most robust protocols for sampling and data collection. Continue reading

36 Workplace Deaths Recorded in Idaho in 2015

Thirty-six work-related deaths were recorded in Idaho in 2015, up slightly from 34 fatalities in 2014. Twenty-two of the 2015 workplace deaths in Idaho occurred during transportation incidents.

Nationally, fatalities increased by 0.3 percent from 4,821 to 4,836.

Twenty-two of the 2015 workplace deaths in Idaho occurred during transportation incidents, which were the leading cause of workplace deaths over the past 10 years in Idaho – ranging from 42 percent in 2005 to 70 percent in 2011. Nearly one-third of the transportation incidents occurred in the agriculture sector.

Contact with objects and equipment was responsible for six Idaho deaths in 2015. Four fatalities were due to exposure to harmful substances. The cause of four deaths could not be disclosed due to confidentiality restrictions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Around Idaho: April 2017 Economic Activity

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

  • North Idaho College received a $482,000 grant from the Idaho Department of Labor to train more than 200 workers in wood products manufacturing. The grant is a partnership with Lewis-Clark State College and a consortium of wood product manufacturers in northern Idaho. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Work has begun on a $5.44 million revitalization of the Seltice Way arterial. The project – which is expected to continue into 2018 – will provide a new streetscape, roundabouts and bike lanes, as well as upgraded water and waste utilities. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Kootenai County continues to have a banner year for building permits in 2017. At the conclusion of the first quarter, the cities of Hayden, Rathdrum and Post Falls were all at or near record paces for issued building permits. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

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