Monthly Archives: December 2015

Around Idaho: December Economic Activity

Information provided in this article has been gathered from various sources throughout the state, including 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 Coeur d’Alene tribe plans to pursue a claim to water rights in Benewah and Kootenai counties. This means that the tribe will move forward with court proceedings to establish that it has exclusive rights to use Lake Coeur d’Alene within tribal reservation boundaries. Source: St. Maries Gazette Record

Bonner County

  • Sandpoint and the Kootenai-Ponderay Sewer District are conducting a wastewater treatment study in response to tightened permitting rules from the Environmental Protection Agency. The study will assess what changes, if any, need to be made before the EPA will renew a permit allowing the discharge of wastewater into local waterways. Source: Bonner County Daily Bee

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Data Plays Important Role in Shaping Idaho’s Economy

The development of products such as the personal computer, the World Wide Web and cloud-storage have completely changed the way companies generate, store and analyze their data, turning into what is now considered the Big Data Revolution.

The development and growth of big data has forced companies to transform the way they do business. As the Idaho and national economies continue to integrate with the global marketplace, the ability to organize, analyze and understand data is becoming increasingly important. Businesses that successfully couple their own data with other available data sources and understand the questions to be asked can gain a strong competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Claimant Portal

The Idaho Department of Labor launched a new Claimant Portal in November. The Claimant Portal is a secure online application that claimants use to apply for unemployment insurance benefits, file weekly certification applications (previously called continued claim reports) and view claimant information.

The updated application offers new features to allow claimants to access information about their unemployment claim and weekly certifications (previously called continued claims) online.

Here are answers to frequently asked questions:

How do I get started on the new Claimant Portal?

The first step is to begin a New User Registration in the Claimant Portal. To begin this registration visit labor.idaho.gov/ClaimantPortal and click on New User Registration.

claimant_portal

For more detailed instructions on how to apply for unemployment insurance benefits, follow this guide.

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Balanced Growth Driving Factor in Idaho’s Recovery

Idaho’s recovery from the recession has been among the strongest of any U.S. state. Over the past five years, Idaho has consistently ranked near or at the top in the rate of growth for employment. Idaho, significantly, does not suffer from imbalanced or lopsided growth, where one or two industries are growing while the rest of the economy struggles. Idaho has enjoyed job growth across a wide variety of sectors. The balance of this job growth can be measured using a variant called the Diffusion Index.

When evaluating job growth, it is preferable to see growth in all sectors of the economy. Some states, like North Dakota for example, experienced rapid job growth associated with a boom in oil drilling. While the oil industry is a strong employer that brings many economic benefits, it is a more stable scenario to have a diversified economy.

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Volunteer Opportunities Available During the Holiday Season

So you want to volunteer this holiday season but might not know where to start? Here are a few volunteer opportunities in Idaho this holiday season.

Winter Garden aGlow, Boise

Talk about having a great view while you’re volunteering. Winter Garden aGlow takes place at the Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise from Nov. 26 to New Year’s Day. The Winter Garden aGlow is a walk through a Christmas light and decoration show boasting more than 300,000 displayed lights. Volunteer shifts are 4.5 hours, and there is a variety of available positions varying from taking tickets, monitoring paths, serving complimentary cocoa and cider, handing out candy canes and many more opportunities. A full list can be found at http://idahobotanicalgarden.org/winter-garden-aglow/. Contact: Karen Christeson at (208) 275-8605, karen@idahobotanicalgarden.org

Secret Santa Volunteers, Pocatello

Want to help out with Secret Santa but your budget might be a little too tight to participate?  The Salvation Army in Pocatello is looking for volunteers at its Angel Tree site in the Pine Ridge Mall until Dec. 24. Volunteers will collect information from people wishing to participate in the program as well as collect and document the gifts brought in. Volunteer positions also are available to help with sorting, packing and distributing donated gifts. Contact Information: Julie Christiansen, (208) 232-5318, Julie.christiansen@usw.salvationsarmy.org

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Today’s Data Tools You Can Use

Calculating the Cost of Employee Turnover

Businesses need to know how much turnover costs their organization.  The Center for Economic Policy and Research  Turnover Calculator  allows businesses to calculate the turnover costs for different categories of workers. Answers to questions about wages, weekly hours and recruiting and hiring costs are best if they come from human resources professionals or business owners who handle their own staffing. Turnover costs also vary for different types of employees. Paid sick days, market wages, workforce training and work sharing are listed as ways to help decrease turnover costs.  – Center for Economic Policy and Research

Census Data to Help You Start or Grow a Business

Connect Now to the Census Business Builder Tool!!The Census Business Builder:  Small Business Edition allows small business owners a way to easily navigate to and use key demographic and economic data to guide their research into opening a new or expanding an existing business. Easy-to-use menus allows researchers and company relocation experts to select their type of business and potential business location. An interactive map allows selection of an area to explore for business opportunities, including comparisons to neighboring areas. And dynamically generated, downloadable and printable business county- and city-level reports (including trend charts)  can be easily incorporated into  business plans and research results. There are even several easy-to-use tutorial videos on how to use the Census Business Builder. For more information, visit https://cbb.census.gov/sbe/. -U.S. Census Bureau

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Around Idaho: November Economic Activity

Information provided in this article is gathered 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

  • Kootenai County has proposed to implement a permitting system to help track and regulate short-term vacation rentals. The issue arose over concerns that the short-term rental of homes to vacationers violates zoning laws by turning residential properties into de-facto hotels. The proposed regulations will aim to level the playing field between homeowners and traditional hotels and bed and breakfasts. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • A massive windstorm in November felled hundreds of trees and left 8,300 residents of Kootenai County without power, on top of 113,000 without power in Spokane. The widespread outages across the region strained the ability of utility companies to quickly restore power, even after mobilizing all their available line crews. The Kootenai County Board of Commissioners issued a declaration of disaster, authorizing local authorities to spend whatever they deem necessary to deal with the effects of the storm. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

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