Tag Archives: unemployment

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

Idaho Releases 2016 Monthly Employment Data Calendar

It’s a new year, which means that it’s time to benchmark Idaho’s 2015 nonfarm jobs and unemployment estimates.

The annual benchmarking process takes place during January and February. Due to benchmarking, the monthly Idaho preliminary nonfarm and unemployment situation release, which normally occurs on the third Thursday of each month, is released on a different schedule for the first two months of the year. Continue reading

Data Mining Tools You Can Use

Idaho Occupational Employment and Wages Survey – 2014

Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 11.17.46 AMPaying a competitive wage is a critical factor for employee retention. Wages for more than 750 Idaho occupations can now be found on the Labor Market Information website at: http://lmi.idaho.gov/oes. The data is gathered through a survey of Idaho businesses which collects the number of employees by occupation and pay range. Only wage and salary-type compensation data are reported. Fringe benefits, overtime, bonuses, incentive pay and other non-wage earnings are not included.

BEA Prototype Features State GDP Figures by Quarter

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis is now releasing state gross domestic product figures by quarter. The new data set is designed to provide a fuller description of the accelerations, decelerations and turning points in the economy at the state level. Released as a prototype, the new data also includes key information about the impact of industry composition differences across the states. Adjusted for inflation, real gross domestic product measures the market value of goods and services produced within the state and is generally considered a measure of economic activity. For more information, visit the news release section of the BEA website.

A National Living Wage Calculator

MIT professor Amy Glasmeier’s “The Living Wage Calculator” shows the hourly rate someone needs to earn in every Idaho county as well as the country. Glasmeier used the data to create a map which shows the difference between the minimum wage and the amount of money necessary to meet a minimum standard of living around the U.S. The darker red areas indicate a large gap; the orange areas are a smaller gap.

Estimates for the living wage – defined as the amount needed to cover food, child care, insurance, health care, housing, transportation and taxes – are gleaned from official sources, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, divided over a work-year of 2,080 hours. – From the Washington Post

Idaho Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment – 2014

Annual labor force, employment and unemployment for Idaho and its substate areas can now be found for 2014 in the Geographic Profile of Employment and Unemployment, available on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website at www.bls.gov/opub/gp/laugp.htm. The profile is generated by data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program, which is administered for Idaho by the state Department of Labor.

Changes in Idaho’s Alternative Unemployment Measures

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released a new set of alternative unemployment measures for four quarters through September 2013, and Idaho posted the largest percentage improvement for the U-1 unemployment rate. This measure includes those who are unemployed for 15 weeks or more. Only four other states posted double-digit declines but Idaho’s 13 percent decrease was the largest.

chartIdaho’s U-1 unemployment rate decreased by four-tenths of a point – falling from 3.1 percent for the year ending in June 2013 to 2.7 percent in the year ending in September. Over the year Idaho’s U-1 unemployment rate decreased by 29 percent – only Hawaii showed greater improvement – declining by 31 percent. Continue reading

Idaho’s Underemployment Declines For First Time Since 2007

idaho underemployment

Idaho’s slowly improving economy has not only reduced the official unemployment, but for the first time since the recession began in 2007 it has reduced the state’s rate of underemployment.

More than 20,000 workers who were underemployed found better work between 2011 and 2012 to drive the state’s underemployment rate down three percentage points to just under 17 percent. The decline of more than a full percentage point in the official unemployment rate of 7.1 percent in 2012 brought the combined rate down to 24 percent from a peak of over 28 percent in 2011.

Underemployment is not a hard and fast statistic. It is based on a number of assumptions and does not attempt to measure holiday or seasonal workers.

These underemployment statistics, compiled by Principal Research Analyst John Panter, come from two categories:

  • Employed workers who are working part-time or temporary jobs but want full-time work based on the ratio of part-time and temporary jobs listed with the 25 local Labor Department offices.
  • Workers who have associate degrees or higher and are currently employed but have filed with a local office to find another job.

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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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