Economy http://boisestatepublicradio.org en Idaho Jobless Rate Lowest In Five And A Half Years http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-jobless-rate-lowest-five-and-half-years <p>Idaho's unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest point since August 2008.&nbsp; It dropped a tenth of a percent in March to 5.2 percent.&nbsp;</p><p>Bob Fick is with the Idaho Department of Labor.&nbsp;&nbsp;He says the March data continues a trend that started a year and a half ago.</p><p><span data-term="goog_379914678" tabindex="0">“We’ve seen job creation at two percent to three percent over the last 18 months, while the national rate has been about 1.5, 1.6 every month, year over year," Fick says. "So we’re creating jobs at a significant pace."</span></p> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 19:46:20 +0000 Samantha Wright 43720 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org North Idaho Tribe: State Poker Ban Doesn't Apply http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/north-idaho-tribe-state-poker-ban-doesnt-apply <p></p><p>The Coeur d'Alene Tribe in northern Idaho plans to offer poker after deciding Idaho's constitutional ban on the game doesn't apply to the tribal-owned casino.</p><p><a href="http://bit.ly/1ithcYG">The Spokesman-Review reports</a> the tribe has announced plans to open a poker room on May 2.</p><p>The tribe says it will offer Texas Hold' Em and Omaha.</p><p>Tribe spokesman Helo Hancock says several legal opinions have led the tribe to conclude that poker is exempted from state regulation under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.</p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:24:23 +0000 Associated Press 43641 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org North Idaho Tribe: State Poker Ban Doesn't Apply Alfalfa Growers Hope To Rake In More Green This Year http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/alfalfa-growers-hope-rake-more-green-year <a href="http://cpa.ds.npr.org/northwestnews/audio/2014/04/041414AK_Alfalfa_web.mp3" class="asset-audio"></a><p>Many Northwest alfalfa growers had a rough year with bad weather last summer.<p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 00:40:00 +0000 Anna King 43503 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Alfalfa Growers Hope To Rake In More Green This Year Pullman-Moscow Airport Considers $66 Million Improvement Project http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/pullman-moscow-airport-considers-66-million-improvement-project <p>Officials say the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport needs improvements to keep up with more demand and bigger aircraft.</p><p>Airport Executive Director Tony Bean says the airport has fallen behind the times due to aircraft increasing in size.</p><p>Bean says there isn't the space and capacity to land current-size aircraft safely, and as the trend doesn't seem likely to change, the problem will only worsen.</p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 15:34:52 +0000 Associated Press 43054 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho's Wine Industry Continues To Grow http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idahos-wine-industry-continues-grow <p></p><p>The executive director of the Idaho Wine Commission says the state is getting national attention for its wines.</p><p>Moya Dolsby credits a $400,000 annual budget funded through the state liquor tax and wine industry assessment as well as enthusiastic supporters.</p><p><a href="http://bit.ly/1fYQnHk" target="_blank">Dolsby tells the Lewiston Tribune</a> that she no longer has to beg restaurants and retailers to try Idaho wines.</p><p>The state's wine industry has grown from a single commercial winery in 1976 to 50 today.</p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 15:32:35 +0000 Associated Press 43053 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho's Wine Industry Continues To Grow Low Prices Prompt Northwest Asparagus Growers To Try To Delay Harvest http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/low-prices-prompt-northwest-asparagus-growers-try-delay-harvest <a href="http://cpa.ds.npr.org/northwestnews/audio/2014/04/040414AK_Asparagus_web.mp3" class="asset-audio"></a><p>Northwest asparagus growers are just starting to harvest spears in the warmer sites around Pasco, Wash.<p> Sat, 05 Apr 2014 00:48:00 +0000 Anna King 42969 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Low Prices Prompt Northwest Asparagus Growers To Try To Delay Harvest Idaho's Average Hourly Wage Ticks Up, Doesn't Keep Up With National Growth http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idahos-average-hourly-wage-ticks-doesnt-keep-national-growth <p></p><p>Idaho's average wage increased by almost 20 cents last year. But wage growth isn't keeping up with the national average.&nbsp;</p><p>The <a href="http://www.bls.gov/" target="_blank">U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics'</a> Occupational Employment Survey finds Idaho's average hourly wage for all jobs was $18.67 last year, that's up 19 cents from 2012. Still, Idaho's average wage was almost 84 percent of the national average, which is $22.33 an hour.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 22:45:42 +0000 Samantha Wright 42769 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho's Average Hourly Wage Ticks Up, Doesn't Keep Up With National Growth Report: It Takes A 73 Hour Work Week To Pay Rent On Idaho's Minimum Wage http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/report-it-takes-73-hour-work-week-pay-rent-idahos-minimum-wage <p></p><p>An Idaho worker earning the minimum wage would need to work 73 hours per week in order to afford a modest two-bedroom rental <a href="http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/oor/OOR2014.pdf" target="_blank">according to a report</a> from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.</p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 19:11:08 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders 42398 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Report: It Takes A 73 Hour Work Week To Pay Rent On Idaho's Minimum Wage Idaho's Share Of Minimum Wage Workers Declines, Now 2nd Highest In U.S. http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idahos-share-minimum-wage-workers-declines-now-2nd-highest-us <p>Idaho’s share of minimum wage workers declined 0.6 percent from 2012 to 2013 according to <a href="http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2013.pdf" target="_blank">data released</a> by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The drop means Idaho no longer <a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/idaho/tag/bottom-rung/">has the largest share of minimum wage</a> workers in the country; Tennessee has taken Idaho’s spot.</p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 16:43:31 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders 42257 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Idaho's Share Of Minimum Wage Workers Declines, Now 2nd Highest In U.S. The Number Of Idaho Fur Trappers Doubles As Pelt Prices Soar http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/number-idaho-fur-trappers-doubles-pelt-prices-soar <p></p><p>Just four years ago, bobcat fur sold for about $200. Now, that same bobcat pelt can be sold for almost $2,000. Higher prices come from a rise in demand for fur in Asia, and it has led to more trappers in the field here in Idaho.</p><p>Patrick Carney, president of the Idaho Trappers Association, gets calls almost daily from folks who want advice on how to get into commercial trapping.</p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 12:45:00 +0000 Jessica Murri 42146 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org The Number Of Idaho Fur Trappers Doubles As Pelt Prices Soar Idaho's February Jobless Rate Drops To Five Year Low http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idahos-february-jobless-rate-drops-five-year-low <p>Idaho's unemployment rate dropped another tenth of a percentage point in February to 5.3 percent, the lowest rate in more than 5 years.</p><p>That decline came as the participation rate - which is the percentage of the population 16 and older working or actively looking for work - fell a tenth of a percentage point to 63.7 percent.</p><p>Idaho's participation rate dropped below 64 percent last October - the first time in over 30 years - and has been gradually sliding since.</p> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 17:42:29 +0000 Associated Press 42126 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Some States Working To Negate Federal Food Stamp Cutbacks http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/some-states-working-negate-federal-food-stamp-cutbacks <a href="http://cpa.ds.npr.org/northwestnews/audio/2014/03/031314TB_HeatEat_web.mp3" class="asset-audio"></a><p>In Olympia, Washington policymakers are pondering whether to make an end run around looming cutbacks in the federally-funded food stamp program.<p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 00:47:00 +0000 Tom Banse 41682 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Some States Working To Negate Federal Food Stamp Cutbacks Boise-Based Albertsons To Merge With Safeway Stores http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/boise-based-albertsons-merge-safeway-stores <p></p><p>Safeway says <a href="http://www.albertsons.com/2014/03/safeway-and-albertsons-announce-definitive-merger-agreement/">it has agreed</a> to be acquired by an investment group led by Cerberus Capital Management, the owner of Albertsons and several other supermarket chains.</p><p>The acquisition is worth about $7.64 billion in cash, and pending other transactions could top more than $9 billion.</p><p>It comes amid ongoing consolidation in the supermarket industry, which is facing growing competition from big-box retailers, specialty chains, drug stores and even dollar stores.</p> Thu, 06 Mar 2014 22:48:06 +0000 Associated Press & Emilie Ritter Saunders 41277 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Boise-Based Albertsons To Merge With Safeway Stores Federal Court Approves $311 Million Settlement Involving Micron http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/federal-court-approves-311-million-settlement-involving-micron <p></p><p>Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says Idaho and other states have obtained court approval of a $311 million settlement involving Boise-based Micron Technology and other computer chip makers.</p><p>The court approval announced Tuesday means consumers can start filing claims to recoup the money they overpaid as a result of chip makers engaging in unlawful anti-competitive practices to inflate prices.</p><p>The approval involves the settlement of a lawsuit Idaho and 34 other states brought against 12 makers of dynamic random-access memory, or DRAM.</p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 21:15:39 +0000 Associated Press 41202 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Federal Court Approves $311 Million Settlement Involving Micron North Idaho Landowner Selling Waterfront Property For Bitcoin http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/north-idaho-landowner-selling-waterfront-property-bitcoin <p>A North Idaho man is selling lake-front property for <a href="http://www.npr.org/tags/171188426/bitcoin">bitcoin, a digital currency</a> that isn't regulated like the U.S. dollar.</p><p>The <em>Coeur d'Alene Press</em> <a href="http://www.cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_4fd39318-1f57-5e35-a736-9640a1df7d55.html?state=taberU">reports</a> Hayden resident Alen Golub has joined with neighbors to sell 660 waterfront acres. Golub tells the paper he's selling his 50 acres in exchange for bitcoin.</p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 17:41:44 +0000 Emilie Ritter Saunders 41187 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org North Idaho Landowner Selling Waterfront Property For Bitcoin Twin Falls Approves Chobani Expansion http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/twin-falls-approves-chobani-expansion <p></p><p>Twin Falls officials in south-central Idaho have approved a $3.5 million expansion of a Greek yogurt plant operated by Chobani.</p><p><a href="http://bit.ly/Nwn1c0">The Times-News reports</a> in a story on Wednesday that the addition to the $450 million plant will add to its packaging and filling rooms on the east side.</p><p>Company officials say the plant reached full production in December, producing 1 million cases of yogurt a week.</p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 17:39:29 +0000 Associated Press 41188 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Twin Falls Approves Chobani Expansion National Parks Report: Nearby Towns Lost Nearly $500M In October Shutdown http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/national-parks-report-nearby-towns-lost-nearly-500m-october-shutdown <a href="http://cpa.ds.npr.org/northwestnews/audio/2014/03/030314JR_NationalParks_web.mp3" class="asset-audio"></a><p>According to a National Park Service report, <a href="http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/docs/Economic2013ShutdownReport_Final_nrss_VSE.pdf">towns around national parks lost an estimated $414 million</a> during the partial government shutdown last October.<p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 00:03:00 +0000 Jessica Robinson 41097 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org National Parks Report: Nearby Towns Lost Nearly $500M In October Shutdown Plan To Slash Idaho's Income Tax Passes House http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/plan-slash-idahos-income-tax-passes-house <p></p><p>A plan to snip Idaho income tax by $126 million over the next six years passed the House over objections that the state can't afford to lose that much revenue for the general fund.</p><p>The bill seeks to drop rates in all brackets from the current 7.4 percent to 6.8 percent, starting with a .1 percent cut in January.</p><p>Republican Rep. Mike Moyle, from Star, says that could make the state more attractive to businesses and put Idaho more in line with neighboring states.</p><p>Montana has an income tax rate of 6.9 percent and no sales tax.</p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 22:25:56 +0000 Associated Press 41090 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Plan To Slash Idaho's Income Tax Passes House Hummus Popularity Has Idaho, Washington Farmers Growing Huge Chickpea Crops http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/hummus-popularity-has-idaho-washington-farmers-growing-huge-chickpea-crops <p class="ap-story-p">The rising popularity of hummus across the nation has been good for farmers like Aaron Flansburg.</p><p class="ap-story-p">Flansburg, who farms 1,900 acres amid the rolling hills of southeastern Washington, has been increasing the amount of the chickpeas used to make hummus by about one-third each year to take advantage of good prices and demand.</p><p class="ap-story-p">"I hope that consumption keeps increasing," he said.</p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 20:07:16 +0000 Associated Press 41076 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Drought Could Dry Up Nevada Dairy Farmers' Expansion Plans http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/drought-could-dry-nevada-dairy-farmers-expansion-plans When Pete Olsen talks about drought on his fifth-generation dairy farm in Fallon, Nev., he's really talking about the snowpack 60 miles to the west in the Sierra Nevada.<p>The Sierras, Olsen says, are their lifeblood.<p>That is, the snowmelt from them feeds the Truckee and Carson rivers and a tangle of reservoirs and canals that make this desert bloom. Some of the highest-grade alfalfa in the world is grown here. And it makes perfect feed for dairy cows, because it's rich in nutrients.<p>But like much of the far West, northern Nevada is in the grips of a historic drought. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 08:21:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 40933 at http://boisestatepublicradio.org Drought Could Dry Up Nevada Dairy Farmers' Expansion Plans