Economy

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.  

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

Gas prices in Idaho continue to climb, so people are looking at other ways to commute.  They walk, bike, bus, or take a public van.  Ada County Highway District runs one of the oldest vanpool programs in the nation. Commuteride  started in the 1970s.  

Horizon Air

Editor's Note: This story has been updated with additional information. The original story stated that by the end of the summer, Horizon Air's nearly 900 pilots and flight attendants would also call Boise, Idaho, Medford, Oregon and Spokane, Washington home. We've clarified this to say that by the end of the summer 300 of those 900 flight crews will be based in Boise, Medford and Spokane. 

Session Wrap: What Passed, What Flopped

Apr 3, 2012
Tom Kelly / Flickr

The 2012 Legislature adjourned late last week, accomplishing its only constitutional duty, which is to pass a balanced budget.  StateImpact Idaho’s Emilie Ritter Saunders has watched the budget process closely.  Saunders told Samantha Wright there weren’t many surprises this session, but there were a couple of things that didn’t pan out, including creating a state health care exchange.

TRANSCRIPT

megamillions.com

Sales are brisk across the Northwest for today’s MegaMillions drawing. The $540 million lottery jackpot is being called the largest in world history. The high-profile jackpot also means state lotteries of  Idaho, Oregon, and Washington  are anticipating a payday of their own.

Hecla Mining

Laid-off silver miners in north Idaho aren’t staying out-of-work for long. Around 250 miners and contractors lost their jobs at the end of last year when the Lucky Friday Mine was shut down for safety improvements. But since then, the Silver Valley’s unemployment rate has actually dropped two percentage points.

Home Prices Continue To Drop In Some Northwest Cities

Mar 28, 2012

Home prices continue to fall in much of the Northwest. New figures released Tuesday show yet another drop in both Seattle and Portland. 

The S&P/Case-Schiller Index measures housing prices in 20 large metropolitan areas around the country. The newest figures are through January and in them, both Seattle and Portland hit new lows for the current economic downturn. Average home prices in both cities are down about four percent from a year ago.

Steve Thoele is an agent with Keller-Williams Realty in Portland. He blogs about housing trends in Oregon.

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