Author Archives: Idaho Department of Labor

About Idaho Department of Labor

Our goal is to be Idaho’s first choice for employment services. We connect job seekers with Idaho employers, deliver employment services to Idaho businesses and support people during career and life transitions.

Unemployment Claimants: Speed Up Your Claim with the Online Alternative Base Period Affidavit

Unemployment insurance claimants can now report their earnings online by using the Alternative Base Period Affidavit and – if they are personally and monetarily eligible – receive their unemployment insurance benefits sooner.

Q. What is the Alternate Base Period Affidavit?

A. The affidavit is a form claimants can fill out to provide their earnings before the employer is required to report quarterly taxes.

Q. What is an Alternate Base Period?

A. When you file for unemployment insurance benefits we look at your regular base period which consists of your gross earnings during the first four of the past five completed quarters.

If you do not qualify monetarily in this base period, we may be able to roll one quarter forward and use what is referred to as an alternate base period.

For example, if you file a claim on July 6, 2015, your regular base period would be April 2014- March 2015. If you are not eligible on a regular base period claim we can potentially use the alternate base period of July 2014-June 2015, which is basically the result of rolling one quarter forward.

Q. How do I fill out an Alternate Base Period Affidavit?

A. Visit and click on the Alternate Base Period Wage Affidavit link to complete the online form. You will need to attach evidence that shows what income you earned during the requested time frame. Examples include pay stubs with year-to-date totals, a year-end W-2 or a copy of each individual paycheck from the requested time frame. If you have any documents you wish to add electronically, have them ready to attach.

Q. Do I need to create a separate affidavit for each employer in the lag period (or extra quarter)?

A. Yes, we will look at each employer individually to determine your eligibility.

Q. Is filing an affidavit required?

A. No. The affidavit is not a requirement but it allows you to receive payments more quickly as long as your information is accurate and you are personally and monetarily eligible.

Employers are not required to pay quarterly payroll taxes until the last day of the first month of the quarter. If you provide your wage information prior to your employer’s quarterly payroll taxes report, you may receive payment sooner. If you do not complete the online form or choose not to provide the information, your wages won’t be added to your account until after your employer provides us with that information and any benefits you are eligible for will be paid after your employer files their quarterly report. Most wages will be available on claim within 30 days of each quarter.

Q. What if I can’t or won’t provide the necessary information?

A. Your monetary eligibility will not be processed until your employer reports the quarterly payroll taxes.

Q: Am I automatically eligible for benefits once I complete my affidavit?

A. Not necessarily. Being monetarily eligible means you have sufficient qualifying wages to establish a claim and you have sufficient earnings in the base period, meaning you have worked and were paid wages for employment in at least two of the quarters in the base period. You must also have been paid at least $1,872 in wages in one of those quarters AND the total wages paid in your base period must equal one and a quarter times your highest quarter wages.

We must also determine if you meet all the personal eligibility requirements. Like other types of insurance, the unemployment insurance program requires that you meet certain conditions before qualifying to receive payment. To qualify, you must meet both personal and monetary eligibility requirements.

Q. How soon will I receive a payment after I submit the affidavit?

A. If you are eligible for unemployment benefits and have completed your waiting week, your payments would be released within three days of the completion on your affidavit.

Q. What if the information I provide doesn’t match what my employer provides?

A. If you do not agree with the wage information you employer provides, please call 208-332-8972 and ask about a monetary re-determination.

Q. Do I need to file my weekly reports if I am submitting an affidavit?

A. Yes. File your weekly reports at


Railroads Help Idaho Compete in the World

Nearly 140 years after the first railroad was built in Idaho, railroads remain vital to Idaho’s economic success, connecting Idaho’s communities to the global economy. Increasingly, they provide a critical link to international markets through intermodal facilities at ports and other places where goods are transferred to and from rails, ships and trucks. One train can carry as much freight as several hundred trucks, making them about four times more fuel efficient than trucks while easing highway congestion and reducing carbon emissions.

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Idaho Personal Income Components Shifted From 1979 – 2013

The components of personal income in Idaho have changed since 1979 and the three recessions over the next seven years. Wages and business profits accounted for more than two-thirds of personal income in 1979. Today they combine for almost 55 percent.

Filling that void have been government transfer payments, primarily Social Security and Medicare, which rose less than 11 percent to more than 18 percent over the past 35 years.

Investment earnings have remained relatively constant at around 20 percent.

components of personal incomeThe remaining transfer payments were bolstered during the recession when record unemployment insurance benefits exceeded $600 million in both 2009 and 2010.

Wages dropped from 57 percent to just below 50 percent as a component of Idaho personal income from 1979 through the triple recession from 1980 to 1987. After the slide, wages remained right around 50 percent of total personal income until the mild recession in 2000 when they began a steady slide to their current level of 43.5 percent.

At the same time, business profits remained relatively stable at around 12 percent.

Wage and Profits table— Bob Fick

Food Processing Strong Industry Cluster for South Central Idaho

Food processing is one of the strongest industry clusters in south central Idaho, primarily focused in Jerome, Twin Falls, Cassia and Minidoka counties.

(Click on chart below to enlarge.)

Location Quotient_IndustryAgriculture is driving this sector through the added value that the availability of commodities has fostered. In a state where livestock outnumber people by more than a million, animal production is the largest component, dominated by the dairy industry.

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#WorkingSocial for Job Seekers: Using Social Media to Look for Work

Social media has become an essential tool for job seekers. Whether you are using social media to look for a job, optimizing your social media profiles for the job search, or using social media in the workplace, there are rules and laws that apply. Be sure to stay up to date on how to effectively use social media, as well as how employers can legally use it to make hiring and firing decisions. Here are some tips for using social media to look for work:

Google Yourself. Conduct a personal audit of your online presence. Search yourself on Google to see who you are online. If there are negative search results, manage them by shutting down damaging references, managing your results through sites like or, or simply increase positive posts to drive down the negative ones. Put a Google alert out on your name so you are notified any time you are mentioned on the Internet.

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Most Workplace Deaths in Idaho Occur in Agriculture, Transportation

Idaho’s natural resource-based economy has experienced a significant number of workplace deaths. Between 2003 and 2013, more than half of those deaths were in the agriculture and transportation industries.

During 2013, 30 work-related deaths were recorded in Idaho. Fifteen of those workplace deaths occurred during transportation incidents – the leading cause of workplace deaths over the past 10 years. More than half of the transportation accidents occurred in the agriculture sector.

By occupation, workplace deaths occurred primarily in two areas – 14 in natural resources, construction and maintenance and seven in production, transportation and material moving. Six of the 14 natural resources deaths were farming related. The deaths in the second group involved transportation occupations.

Idaho workers between 25 and 54 years old accounted for 30 percent of the work-related deaths in 2013, and 43 percent occurred among older workers – 55 and older.

Read the full report.

New IdahoWorks: What Unemployment Claimants Need to Know

The unemployment insurance website will be temporarily unavailable starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 10 until 7 a.m. Monday, June 15.

The temporary shutdown is necessary because beginning June 15, we are launching a new IdahoWorks, a free online system job seekers use to find jobs

Q. I normally file my weekly report every Sunday. When should I file my weekly report during the temporary shutdown?

A. Our system will be available at 7 a.m. MDT Monday, June 15. Provided you file your weekly report on Monday, you should receive an eligible payment for week ending June 13 on Thursday, June 18.

Remember, you have until Saturday, June 20 until midnight to file your weekly report for the week ending June 13.

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