Economy

Agriculture
9:49 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Farms In Northwest Fewer In Numbers, But Bigger And More Valuable

File photo of calves at a dairy operation in southern Idaho.

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 7:00 pm

According to newly-released data from the USDA's agricultural census, the number of farms in the Northwest is dropping.

Read more
Economy
5:00 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Idaho Governor Otter Unveils New Economic Development Plan

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter.
Credit State of Idaho

 Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is launching an initiative he says will boost economic development using planning collaboration but not much spending.

The governor announced the plan, called Accelerate Idaho, Thursday afternoon. The initiative establishes a checklist of areas needing improvement, including K-12 education, infrastructure and labor shortages in key industries.

Read more
Business
4:45 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Tough Choices Ahead For Coldwater Creek Workers

The Coldwater Creek store in Kennewick, Wash.

The Idaho Department of Labor is holding a session this week to help hundreds of people in north Idaho who will lose their jobs when Coldwater Creek goes out of business.

Read more
Agriculture
4:11 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

High Milk, Beef Prices Spur A Northwest Cattle Rush

Dean Hibbs, with All West Select Sires, could be called the date doctor for dairy and beef cows. He’s tallying their traits and seeing which bull might be the best match to produce the highest-quality dairy calf.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 11:24 am

We’ve all heard of the Western Gold Rush. But how about the Northwest cattle rush?

Read more
Jobs
12:58 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Public Or Private? See The Top 5 Employers In Your Idaho County

Exactly half of Idaho's top employers in each of its 44 counties are private businesses, while the other half are government entities. That's a change from 2012 when we reported on the same data. Then, the top employers in 28 counties were public and 16 were private sector businesses.

Read more
Business
4:11 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Alaska Air CEO 'Confident' As Delta Spreads Wings On Home Turf

Airline rivals and allies converge at Atlanta's airport this week.

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 4:59 pm

The parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air announced strong earnings for the first quarter of the year on Friday.

Read more
Business
10:25 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Software Company Declara To Expand Its Boise Office

Declara's founder Ramona Pierson's personal story often overshadows her business and technology achievements. At age 22 she was hit by a car leaving her blind and unable to walk. It took years of surgeries to restore her sight, crushed legs and fix her other injuries.
Credit facebook.com/declara.inc

A software company with an Idaho presence is expanding its operations thanks to an influx of cash. Palo Alto-based Declara announced a new $16 million investment Wednesday.

The company’s Boise office of 10 developers will double because of that, a spokesman says. It also plans to expand its offices in California and Mexico.

Read more
Gambling
10:24 am
Thu April 17, 2014

North Idaho Tribe: State Poker Ban Doesn't Apply

Credit Ross Elliott / Flickr Creative Commons

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.

The Spokesman-Review reports the tribe has announced plans to open a poker room on May 2.

The tribe says it will offer Texas Hold' Em and Omaha.

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.

Read more
Agriculture
6:40 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Alfalfa Growers Hope To Rake In More Green This Year

Drex Gauntt grows some of the earliest-harvested alfalfa in the Northwest near Burbank, Wash. Hay prices this year have him smiling.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Many Northwest alfalfa growers had a rough year with bad weather last summer.

Read more
Recreation
9:07 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Extended Season For Some Northwest Ski Areas, But Profits Scarce

Notice the brown hills around Sun Valley in this Dec. 29, 2013 file photo. Snowmaking allowed the famous resort to operate during the crucial holiday period.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 2:00 pm

Thanks to late-season snow that fell at many area Cascade ski areas will welcome skiers and snowboarders well past Easter.

Read more
Wages
4:45 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Idaho's Average Hourly Wage Ticks Up, Doesn't Keep Up With National Growth

Credit 401(K)2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho's average wage increased by almost 20 cents last year. But wage growth isn't keeping up with the national average. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 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.  

The survey also found that half of Idaho's hourly employees earned $14.68 or less in 2013. That's a 10 cent increase from 2012. 

Read more
Affordable Housing
1:11 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Report: It Takes A 73 Hour Work Week To Pay Rent On Idaho's Minimum Wage

Credit National Low Income Housing Coalition

An Idaho worker earning the minimum wage would need to work 73 hours per week in order to afford a modest two-bedroom rental according to a report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Read more
Economy
6:45 am
Mon March 24, 2014

The Number Of Idaho Fur Trappers Doubles As Pelt Prices Soar

Patrick Carney sets his traps in a gated community pond near Eagle, Idaho.
Credit Jessica Murri / For Boise State Public Radio

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.

Patrick Carney, president of the Idaho Trappers Association, gets calls almost daily from folks who want advice on how to get into commercial trapping.

Read more
Economy
11:42 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Idaho's February Jobless Rate Drops To Five Year Low

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.

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.

Idaho's participation rate dropped below 64 percent last October - the first time in over 30 years - and has been gradually sliding since.

Idaho Legislature
12:47 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Idaho Legislature Approves Bill Limiting Payday Loans

Credit Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

A bill seeking to let Idaho dictate how much payday lenders can give borrowers passed the House Monday by only one vote.

The 35-34 decision came after several lawmakers said they had issues with the bill, which limits loan size and lets borrowers set up interest-free payment plans if they hit a financial snag.

Boise Democrat Rep. Phylis King said letting borrowers take out loans of up to 25 percent of their monthly income was still too much, suggesting the amount be closer to 5 percent.

Read more
Business
3:48 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Boise-Based Albertsons To Merge With Safeway Stores

Credit RoadsidePictures / Flickr Creative Commons

Safeway says it has agreed to be acquired by an investment group led by Cerberus Capital Management, the owner of Albertsons and several other supermarket chains.

The acquisition is worth about $7.64 billion in cash, and pending other transactions could top more than $9 billion.

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.

Read more
Business
3:11 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Sun Valley Lodge Closing For 9 Month-Long Remodel

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Sun Valley Resort plans to close Sun Valley Lodge for nine months starting in September for an extensive remodel.

Resort officials tell the Idaho Mountain Express that a three-story, 20,000-square-foot spa will also be added to the northerly wing of the lodge near an outdoor swimming pool. Work on the spa is scheduled to start in April.

The resort in the announcement on Monday says the Lodge Dining Room will be eliminated.

Read more
Business
2:15 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Federal Court Approves $311 Million Settlement Involving Micron

Credit Micron Technology

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.

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.

The approval involves the settlement of a lawsuit Idaho and 34 other states brought against 12 makers of dynamic random-access memory, or DRAM.

Read more
Economy
10:41 am
Wed March 5, 2014

North Idaho Landowner Selling Waterfront Property For Bitcoin

Credit Antanacoins / Flickr Creative Commons

A North Idaho man is selling lake-front property for bitcoin, a digital currency that isn't regulated like the U.S. dollar.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports 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.

Read more
Business
10:39 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Twin Falls Approves Chobani Expansion

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Twin Falls officials in south-central Idaho have approved a $3.5 million expansion of a Greek yogurt plant operated by Chobani.

The Times-News reports 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.

Company officials say the plant reached full production in December, producing 1 million cases of yogurt a week.

Read more

Pages