Economy

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.

Jobless In Idaho: Promise Of Work In The Oilfields

May 9, 2012
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.

Hecla: Safety Improvements On Track At Mine Where 2 Died

May 8, 2012
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.

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. 

Small Business Owners Rank Idaho ‘Friendliest’ State

May 8, 2012
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.

What Some States Do To Disclose Tax Incentive Info

May 4, 2012
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

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...

Magic Valley Dairymen Eager For Expansion

May 3, 2012
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...

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.

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.   

Jobless In Idaho: Ten Weeks To Find Work

Apr 30, 2012
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.

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

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.

Idaho’s Jobless Rate Dips Below 8 Percent

Apr 20, 2012
Job fair, unemployment
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.

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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