Economy

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

The Idaho Department of Labor estimates there are at least 63,000 people in the state without work.  That doesn’t include thousands more who are underemployed or have stopped looking for a job.  This is the latest story in StateImpact Idaho's “Jobless in Idaho” series, that follows several Idahoans in their search for work.

Boise, ID – More than half a trillion dollars worth of goods flowed into U.S. Foreign Trade Zones during fiscal year 2010.  Companies use these zones because it saves them money when they bring products into the country.  Idaho has one in Eastport near the Canadian border.  Another will open in Caldwell in a few weeks.

A foreign trade zone sounds glamorous, but the reality is a bit mundane.  The one opening in Caldwell is really an industrial park with new office buildings that quickly give way to farm fields:

INL Plans More Lay-Offs

Feb 9, 2012

BOISE, ID – Idaho National Laboratory officials announced today they plan to lay off up to 185 people.  Mark Holubar directs Human Resources at Battelle Energy Alliance.  That’s the company that runs Idaho National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy.  Holubar says, “This is obviously a very difficult situation for us and any time that we are talking about the possibility of eliminating somebody’s job it’s not an easy thing.”

Garden City Gets Second Brewery

Feb 8, 2012

BOISE, ID – When it comes to beer, Idaho ranks 12th in the country for the number of breweries per person.  A new one will open its doors later this month in Garden City.

Crooked Fence Brewery will be the second to open in Garden City in less than a year.  It joins Payette Brewing Company and several wineries within a few miles of each other.  Kelly Knopp markets Crooked Fence’s beer.

Kelly Knopp:  “When we started looking at places we, obviously, checked out some Boise spots, some Eagle spots.  And really, there just seemed to be less hoops and ladders with Garden City.”

Changes To Idaho’s Next Execution

Feb 6, 2012

BOISE, ID – Idaho Department of Correction officials have made some changes to how they handle executions.  This comes nearly three months after the state executed convicted murderer Paul Ezra Rhoades.

In the months since Rhoades’ execution, the Idaho Department of Correction analyzed the 34 page document that details each step in the process.  It’s now 35 pages long.  Brent Reinke directs the Department.  He says the biggest change now allows a single drug cocktail for lethal injection.

Brent Reinke:  “So we have two, three-drug protocols and two, single drug protocols.”

BOISE, ID – Most farmers markets around Idaho are closed for the winter including Boise’s. But that could change for the capital city’s public market. There’s an effort to turn it into a year-round one.   It would cost at least $6 million to develop.

The Capital City Public Market on a warm summer’s day brings people who love to taste and buy locally produced foods.  Like many shoppers we spoke with last summer, Janel Kewley was intrigued by a year-round market.

BOISE, ID – Agustin Victor Casasola founded the first photojournalism agency in Mexico one hundred years ago.

The Mexican Consulate in Boise opened in 2009.  It serves people throughout Idaho, Montana, Northern Nevada, and Eastern Oregon.  It’s the 49th Mexican Consulate to open in the United States.  Before it opened, Idaho and Montana were served by the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City.

Idaho Highway Fatalities Drop Again This Year

Dec 22, 2011

BOISE, ID. – Deaths from motor vehicle crashes in Idaho are on track to be the lowest since the 1960s.  There are many reasons behind this trend.

So far this year, 158 people have died on Idaho’s highways.  That’ll be a record if that number stays below 200.  Brent Jennings manages highway safety for the Idaho Transportation Department.

Brent Jennings:  “In all likelihood, we expect the fatalities to be the lowest since we started keeping records back in the early 60’s.”

BOISE, ID. – Washington State’s move to privatize liquor sales next year could have repercussions on Idaho’s revenues.  That’s according to Idaho’s Office of Performance Evaluation.

Analyst Jared Tatro of Idaho’s Office of Performance Evaluation says high prices for liquor in Washington drive bargain seekers to Idaho.  But privatization may change that.

BOISE, ID – Boise firefighters and police officers will help save the city nearly $1.3 million.  That’s because the city faces a budget shortfall.

Outside City Hall this afternoon, Mayor David Bieter explains why he asked reporters to stand in high winds.

Mayor David Bieter:  “On a blustery but beautiful day in the city of Boise.  This is a great day for all of us, really a historic day.”

Ketchum Firefighters Win Lawsuit Over City

Dec 1, 2011

BOISE, ID – The City of Ketchum must return to the bargaining table to negotiate a labor contract with its unionized firefighters.  That’s the ruling by Fifth District Court Judge John Butler.  The City claimed negotiators were at an “impasse.”  Ketchum firefighters disagreed.  So they sued earlier this year.

Holiday Sales Mixed In Downtown Boise

Nov 30, 2011

BOISE, ID – The holiday shopping season is underway.  So far shoppers have spent a record $52 billion according to the National Retail Federation.  But in downtown Boise, retail sales have been mixed at least for some locally-owned businesses.

Rediscovered Books moved to downtown Boise about a year and a half ago.  Laura Delaney, who owns the store with her husband, is optimistic about this holiday season especially after a push to encourage shoppers to buy local.

BOISE, ID – The number of Idaho families receiving food stamps increased sharply between 2009 and 2010.  That’s according to a U.S. Census Bureau survey released last week.   Even more Idaho families are receiving food stamps this year, but the growth rate is slowing down.

Eagle Mayoral Candidates Work on City

Nov 4, 2011

Eagle, ID - This election year, political watcher Jim Weatherby has had his eyes turned on Eagle, Idaho.

Jim Weatherby “Oh Eagle is a hotspot. It has been over the past couple of election cycles. It appears to be still a quite a divided community. The Eagle mayor’s race will be one of the ones to really watch.”

The race to lead one of Idaho’s fastest growing communities has definitely become one to watch. Next Tuesday’s election in Eagle comes down to a familiar issue:

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