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
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.
Information provided in this article is from professional sources, news releases, weekly and daily newspapers, television and other media.
NORTHERN IDAHO – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone counties
- 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
This year has seen an increase in attendance by families at the YourFIT expos.
The Your Future in Technology (YourFIT) program has expanded this year and now provides students with the option of learning about the Diesel / On-Site Power Generation Technology program available through the College of Technology at Idaho State University.
“This particular program has a lot of interest and will help local employers who are needing to hire diesel mechanics. This is especially true of Western States Caterpillar who recently built a new facility here,” said Kandi Rudd, regional manager of the Pocatello office of the Idaho Department of Labor.
The other career focuses of the YourFit program include welding, machinist, instrumentation (controls), maintenance engineers (mechanics), nuclear operation tech, information technology (geographic information systems, computer information systems, cybersecurity), outdoor electrical and unmanned aerial systems (drones).
“The reason why we focused on these jobs is because they are high growth jobs, they are in demand and they are high paying jobs,” Rudd said.
Idaho Department of Labor workforce consultants serve as career coaches for a job seeker during a mock interview.
They say a great resume will help you get your foot in the door, but it’s how well you handle the interview which determines if you actually get offered the job.
Beth Larson and Katie Taylor, workforce consultants in the Idaho Department of Labor’s Pocatello office, often recommend and perform mock interviews for job seekers. “If you’ve gone on more than four job interviews but have not received a job offer, you may need to ask for help in the form of a mock interview,” Larson said. Larson and Taylor shared the top reasons any job seeker will benefit from a mock interview:
It will help reduce your stress about an important interview.
An important job interview can be very stressful and it is exactly this type of situation which makes most people nervous and more likely to blow it. A little practice with a job coach can make all the difference. Larson and Taylor have helped to coach students who have little to no experience in the job market and need help learning how to handle an interview as well as job seekers who have not been on an interview in a few years. “There are always things we can improve upon when it comes to making a great first impression with a prospective employer,” Taylor said.
The term “digital divide” was popularized in the late 1990s and described a growing gap between those individuals with access to the internet and other information and communications technology, and those without. Since then, concerted effort has been made to provide physical access to close this gap.
Today, most households, workplaces and classroom computers are internet enabled. Data from 2015 showed that more than 80 percent of Idaho’s civilian population ages 3 and up used the internet, more than double the rate in 1998. Digital technology has evolved rapidly to incorporate a wide range of uses from emailing to blogging to online and blended learning in classrooms. Digital hardware and software are constantly in flux with the more recent shift to mobile devices and cloud storage.
While demand for rental units in eastern Idaho has steadily increased since the 2008 recession, supply has not kept pace.
Leading into 2008, rental vacancies were at an all-time high peaking at roughly 10.5 percent across the nation (Figure 1). Although more vacancies frustrate landlords who are unable to fill rentals, it creates a preferable – or buyer’s – market for consumers. Before the recession there were abundant rental options, competitive prices and space for populations to expand.
Whenever the economy takes an economic downturn, especially a severe instance like 2008, there is a stagnation in construction. Rental property construction took a huge hit during this time and almost stopped completely. At the same time many people were losing their homes and being forced into rental units. Within the first few months of 2008, rental units became a hot commodity and, as shown in Figure 1, rental vacancies drastically declined.