Economy

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.

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.

Trade Mission To China Showcases Unexpected Idaho Businesses

Apr 17, 2012
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.

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.   

Even In Down Economy, Northwest Draws New Residents

Apr 13, 2012
Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

The Northwest has long been a draw for people moving here from other parts of the United States. That continues to be a key driver of the region’s economy. Despite high unemployment rates, Oregon and Washington still lure folks from the Midwest and elsewhere. And they bring in new money and job skills.

Ted Layman lives in Oregon. He almost didn't end up there, though. He almost moved to Chicago.

"Great place to visit and enjoy," Layman says. "But the noise, the congestion of people …"

Report: Idaho Tax Collections Increase More Than Most States

Apr 12, 2012
401K / Flickr

Idaho is one of nine states that saw tax collections increase more than ten percent from fiscal year 2010 to 2011.

A new U.S. Census Bureau Report looks at state tax collections for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011.

Last fiscal year, all 50 states reported an increase in tax collections, a dramatic change from fiscal year 2010 when just 11 states reported increases.  Continue reading...

Idaho Statesman

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and Idaho commerce and business officials are preparing for their week-long trip to China.  The trade mission takes off this Saturday.

Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

Idaho was hit hard in the housing crash.  For the better part of three years, the state’s foreclosure rate was one of the highest in the nation.  The Boise area saw the worst of it.  That means it’s been a while since this scene played out with any kind of regularity.

Lynne Smith pushes open the door of the home she’ll move into in just a couple of weeks. "This is it!" she says.  "It’s just nice to come in and look around and say, 'Oh, this is going to be my house!'"

It’s brand new.  It even smells new.

Dairy Farmers And Lumberjacks Make Worst Jobs List

Apr 11, 2012
Cow
Mingerspice / Flickr Creative Commons

The online job search site CareerCast has released its list of best and worst jobs for 2012.

Topping the worst list are two professions with a history in Idaho: dairy farmers and lumberjacks.

CareerCast ranked 200 jobs based on these factors: work environment, income, outlook, stress and physical demands.  Continue reading...

401 K / Flickr

April 17th marks Equal Pay Day.  It symbolizes the 23 percent pay gap between men and women in the United States.  Women must work from January 1st last year to April 17th this year to match what men earned in 2011 alone.  Women in Idaho would have to work even longer, as the state  ranks 43rd in the nation for this type of wage disparity.

Seattle Municipal Archives

Another day, another study that places Idaho among the worst states in terms of the gender pay gap.

This time, it’s the American Association of University Women that’s tracking the disparities in men’s and women’s earnings by state.  The AAUW study places Idaho 43rd, based on federal data from 2010.

What does placing 43rd mean?  Continue reading...

FDA Shuts Down Northwest Cheese Producer

Apr 10, 2012
FDA.gov

The Food and Drug Administration has shut down a family-owned Mexican style cheese producer in Washington State . FDA inspectors say Del Bueno isn’t doing enough to prevent Listeria contamination in its products, even after several recalls.

Del Bueno distributes a variety of cheeses to Hispanic food stores across Eastern Washington, the Seattle area, and parts of Oregon.

Jesus Rodriguez and his parents operate Del Bueno out of Grandview, Wash. He says it will cost thousands of dollars to comply with the FDA’s demands.

Rural Idaho Continues To Shrink

Apr 6, 2012
Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

Rural Idaho counties are becoming, well, rural-er.

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau show populations continue to decline in rural parts of the state.

Census numbers released this week look at population movement between 2010 and 2011.  According to the Idaho Department of Labor’s analysis, more counties lost population over that year than at any other time since the 1980s.  Continue reading...

Derek Jensen / Tysto-Wikimedia Commons

Gas prices are on the rise throughout the United States.  In Idaho, it costs on average about $3.80 a gallon.  That’s up from $3.00 a gallon at the start of this year.   One reason for this spike has to do with future bets on oil prices.

Thousands of long-term unemployed workers in the northwest will soon lose unemployment checks. It'll happen this weekend in Oregon; two weeks later in Washington State but likely not for several more months in Idaho. The federal government won't pay for extended benefits anymore because the jobless rates have improved.  

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