Economy

StateImpact Idaho
5:35 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Refugee Travel Loans: What They Are, And Why You Should Care

Before the recession hit, Boise’s World Relief office resettled more than 300 refugees annually. In part due to the economic downturn, that number has been cut back. Last year the agency received a total of 166 refugees.
Molly Messick StateImpact Idaho

Thursday, we’ll air a broadcast story on a program you’ve probably never heard of.  It’s called the International Organization for Migration U.S. Refugee Travel Loan Program.

What is it?  In short, it covers the cost of transportation for nearly all refugees resettled in the United States.  (For this year, that could be as many as 76,000 people.)  Click here to continue reading...

Agriculture
1:20 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

More Pale Cyst Nematodes Found In Eastern Idaho

Features of the potato cyst nematode
Jonathan D. Eisenback Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (from USDA's website))

Three more Idaho potato fields are coping with the pale cyst nematode this year.  That brings the number up to fifteen since the pest was first found in 2006. 

The pale cyst nematode is about the size of a pinhead, but its effects can be devastating.  It attacks the roots of potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants. The nematode can also reduce plant yields by as much as 80 percent. 

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Economy
12:11 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Company Says Safety Improvements At Lucky Friday Ahead of Schedule

Crews installed work decks as part of a year-long project to improve safety at the Lucky Friday mine in Mullan, ID.
Photo by Hecla Mining

Work crews are ahead of schedule on safety improvements at the north Idaho mine where two men died last year. That’s the update today from the Hecla Mining Company, which owns the troubled Lucky Friday Mine. The federally mandated improvements have taken a bite into Hecla’s profits.

Federal inspectors ordered Hecla to make a whole stack of safety improvements at its north Idaho silver mine. The biggest task is a top-to-bottom scrubbing of the mine’s main shaft. Inspectors found loose cement on the wall of this 6,000-foot conduit that takes ore and people in and out of the mine.

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StateImpact Idaho
10:58 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Jobless In Idaho: Promise Of Work In The Oilfields

Allen Brown is a single father with three teenage daughters. He lost his mill job in October, 2011.
Courtesy Allen Brown

Idaho’s economy is moving in a positive direction, but it still hasn’t made up for the jobs lost during the Great Recession.  Allen Brown got his layoff notice in the fall of 2011.  Now, at 44-years-old, he’s waiting to start a new career.  We check in with Brown for our continuing series Jobless In Idaho.

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Environment
4:22 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Hecla: Safety Improvements On Track At Mine Where 2 Died

Crews installed work decks as part of a year-long project to improve safety at the Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan, Idaho.
Hecla Mining

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho - Work crews are ahead of schedule on safety improvements at the north Idaho mine where two men died last year. That’s the update today from the Hecla Mining Company, which owns the troubled Lucky Friday Mine.  The federally mandated improvements have taken a bite into Hecla’s profits.

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Micron
2:12 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Micron’s Bid To Stay Competitive In Memory Chips

Micron's Boise Campus
Scott Ki Boise State Public Radio

The Reuters news agency reported earlier this week Micron Technology bid $2.5 billion to negotiate exclusively for a bankrupt Japanese company.  One semiconductor analyst thinks the benefits of a potential deal outweigh the costs. 

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Small Business
12:44 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Small Business Owners Rank Idaho ‘Friendliest’ State

Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma and Utah ranked as top states for small businesses.
Thumbtack.com

A new survey out today from Thumbtack.com, an online job service, and the Kauffman Foundation finds Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma and Utah are the friendliest states for small businesses.

StateImpact Idaho
2:22 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

What Some States Do To Disclose Tax Incentive Info

Pew Center on the States

A recent report from Pew Center on the States lists Idaho among 26 states ‘trailing behind when it comes to evaluating tax incentives.  That is, having a mechanism in place to take a closer look at the state-specific incentives and exemptions on a regular basis, and to evaluate if they’re doing what they were intended to do.  In most cases, that’s spurring economic growth and

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StateImpact Idaho
4:28 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Idaho Communities To Receive More Than $5.5 Million In Grant Funds

Main Street in Fairfield, Idaho.
Molly Messick StateImpact Idaho

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has signed off on more than $5.5 million in grant awards to Idaho communities.

Otter followed the guidance of the Idaho Economic Advisory Council in his decisions, approving all 18 grant proposals that the council recommended for funding.

Twin Falls will receive $500,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant dollars to upgrade its water system.  Continue reading...

Agriculture
1:07 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Magic Valley Dairymen Eager For Expansion

Dave Young Flickr

Idaho dairy farmers have been struggling with high feed costs and low milk prices for years.  The Times-News reports dairymen in the Magic Valley are optimistic about expanding and new producers in the area, namely Chobani.  Continue reading...

StateImpact Idaho
12:18 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Do Business Incentives Create Jobs? Idaho Is One Of 13 States In The Dark

Emilie Ritter Saunders StateImpact Idaho

The state of Idaho will give up an estimated $845 million this year in the form of tax credits and exemptions.  And only a select few at the Idaho Tax Commission know exactly where that money goes.

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Agriculture
1:30 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Ag Ambassador Visits Boise To Highlight Trade And Jobs

Seal of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
USTR

Wednesday marks World Trade Day in Idaho.  Companies throughout the state sold nearly $6 billion worth of exports last year.   That’s about 10% of everything Idaho produces.  As part of the day’s events, Boise State hosts a top U.S. trade negotiator.  Ambassador Isi Siddiqui will highlight international trade and American jobs.   

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StateImpact Idaho
9:52 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Jobless In Idaho: Ten Weeks To Find Work

Molly Messick StateImpact Idaho

Idaho’s economic picture has begun to brighten, but the state has yet to make up the jobs it lost in the downturn.  Many in Idaho have watched their months of unemployment add up.  Single mom Kelly Barker is one of them.  She just reached an anniversary she’d rather not observe.  It has now been a full year since she lost her job.  After several months of temp work, Barker is back to the full-time job search, and back to unemployment benefits. Continue reading.

Agriculture
2:44 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Mad Cow And Idaho’s Beef Trade

Tests results this week confirmed mad cow disease in California.  This announcement could have an economic impact on Idaho’s beef industry. 

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Idaho National Laboratory
10:33 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Ongoing INL Accidents Lead To Work Stoppage

Updated Monday, April 23, 2012:  Idaho National Laboratory suspended some work last week at a complex where nuclear fuel and other research takes place.  This comes after a small roof fire and a crane accident at its Materials and Fuels Complex.  Over the past few months,  a number of safety incidents have occurred there.

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StateImpact Idaho
10:19 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Idaho’s Jobless Rate Dips Below 8 Percent

Job seekers talk with potential employers at a job fair in Meridian, Idaho.
Emilie Ritter Saunders StateImpact Idaho

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March dropped below 8 percent to 7.9 percent. The Idaho Department of Labor reports that’s the first time the state’s jobless rate has dipped below 8 percent in more than two years.  Still, almost 62,000 Idahoans are out of work.

Economy
2:57 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

March Unemployment Rate Flat In Washington

A day after Oregon delivered a virtually unchanged monthly jobs report for March, neighboring Washington did the same. Washington's employment department pegged the state's unemployment rate last month at 8.3 percent. That's the same as the revised rate for February.

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Technology and Social Media
11:44 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Everybody's A Brand: Navigating Social Media Disclosure Rules

Nordstrom Rack in Boise
Scott Ki Boise State Public Radio

The lead up to the opening of a Nordstrom Rack in Boise last week turned into a mash-up of gift cards, cocktails, and social media. Twitter traffic was high and it raised questions over whether Nordstrom and tweeters followed Federal Trade Commission guidelines on endorsements.  There’s a lot of fuzziness when it comes to these guides.

Buzz is good in the public relations and marketing world.  High Twitter traffic and Facebook likes are to social media gurus what candy is to that clichéd baby.

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StateImpact Idaho
10:40 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Trade Mission To China Showcases Unexpected Idaho Businesses

Moxie Java’s first store opened in 1988. The Deans purchased the company in 2001.
Moxie Java

The most recent trade mission to China organized by the state Department of Commerce and headlined by Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter is underway this week.

Computer and electronic products make up the lion’s share of Idaho’s exports to China, but that sector isn’t represented in the lineup of 15 Idaho companies working to explore and strengthen trade ties.

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Ski Areas
2:17 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

A Trying Year For Southern Idaho Ski Areas

Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area
Sadie Babits Boise State Public Radio

Southern Idaho ski areas are wrapping up their seasons.  Bogus Basin and Sun Valley have closed their lifts.  Brundage has one more weekend, possibly more, if the snow holds.  This ski season has been a trying year for them.   

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