Idaho Department of Labor

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The Idaho Department of Labor says between 2015 and 2025, the state is expected to grow by 15 percent.

Using a new model to project these changes, the agency says the state’s pace is about three times higher than the nation’s when it comes to population.

So where is this boost coming from? The trend of older people moving to the state for retirement continues to lead the way. The department predicts the 65 and older crowd will grow by about 36 percent.

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 UPDATE March 24: The Idaho Department of Labor says America's Job Link will offer victims a year of credit monitoring services.

The Department of Labor has set up a phone number for victims who have questions. That number is 1-844-469-3939.

ORIGINAL STORY: The Idaho Department of Labor says around 170,000 of the department's 530,000 job-seeker accounts have been hacked.

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House lawmakers have killed legislation allowing FBI background checks on some state employees despite warnings from the bill's sponsor that doing so will cause the state to lose critical federal funding.

The proposal would have allowed the Department of Labor to conduct FBI fingerprint-based background checks on employees, applicants, contractors, interns and other. The federal government requires the checks for any employee who handles confidential taxpayer information.

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Between July 2015 and July 2016 the state grew by more than 30,000 people. That's according to the latest census data, and is the biggest increase since 2008.

The 1.8 percent gain comes from people who moved to the Gem State from other parts of the country, and from babies born in Idaho. The state is fifth when it comes to in-migration and seventh for births. Utah topped the list for growth by percentage, followed by Nevada. Other western states like Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Arizona also made it in the top-10 list.  

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Weekly wages in Idaho’s private sector are on the rise, according to a recent report out by the state’s Department of Labor.

Weekly earnings have increased by $30 from the second quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of this year, according to the report.

The 4.2 percent growth rate that’s pushed the weekly wage up to 743 dollars is double the national average. Robust growth like that puts Idaho in fourth place nationally for over-the-year wage growth.

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Idaho’s Hispanic population is growing. That’s according to the Idaho Department of Labor.

Using Census Bureau numbers, the department found that the Hispanic population grew 2.9 percent between mid-2014 and mid-2015. That’s an increase of 5,696.

Janell Hyer is a research analyst at the Labor Department. She says Idaho’s Hispanic population went up 15.1 percent since the 2010 census.

“We added over 26,000 Hispanics to our community and living in this area you’re seeing more and more commercial businesses that are targeting Hispanics.”

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If you lived in a rural part of the state in 1990, there’s a good chance that you now live in a town or city. That’s according to census data parsed by the Idaho Department of Labor. Researcher Janell Hyer says people are continuing to move where the jobs are – and that means more populated cities like Boise and Meridian.

“People are coming from the rural areas moving into the urban areas," says Hyer. "Even though they may not be growing as fast as they were in previous years, they are still growing and that’s where the growth is taking place.”

Ken Edmunds, Idaho Department of Labor
State of Idaho

Idaho officials say fewer businesses are vying for a top economic development incentive because of tighter reforms implemented nearly a year ago.

Known as the workforce development training fund, the state program reimburses companies for training employees.

The Idaho Department of Labor approved more than $6 million to help train employees at 11 different businesses and universities in fiscal year 2015, which just ended at the end of June.

Idaho's unemployment rate remained at a seven-year low of 3.8 percent in April.

The Idaho Department of Labor on Friday said the number of employed people in the state increased slightly by 4,000 to set a total employment record for the state of 761,000.

The agency says the number of working-age adults with jobs or looking for jobs rose to 63.7 percent.

Officials say that's the highest level since 2013 and a sign of increased optimism about job prospects.

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Truck driver is the most common job in most states, including here in Idaho, according to NPR's Planet Money team.

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Idaho’s unemployment rate dropped in November to its lowest rate in nearly seven years, in part because the labor force is shrinking.

Idaho Department of Labor spokesman Bob Fick says November's 3.9 percent jobless rate was down two-tenths of a point from October.

“There’s usually a decline in jobs from October to November and that decline was less than in the past and there continue to be people who left the labor force,” says Fick. “So the combination of steady jobs and lower labor force was responsible for driving down the unemployment rate under four percent.”

Call Center Job Fair
Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest point since August 2008.  It dropped a tenth of a percent in March to 5.2 percent. 

Bob Fick is with the Idaho Department of Labor. He says the March data continues a trend that started a year and a half ago.

“We’ve seen job creation at two percent to three percent over the last 18 months, while the national rate has been about 1.5, 1.6 every month, year over year," Fick says. "So we’re creating jobs at a significant pace."

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

The new head of Idaho's Labor Department says the state needs to shift its focus to better paying jobs that will help grow the state's economy. 

Ken Edmunds is now in his second month as the head of Idaho’s Labor Department. The Twin Falls businessman replaced longtime labor director Roger Madsen in late November.   

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Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's jobless rate held steady in September, and dropped slightly in October. The Idaho Labor Department reports the unemployment rate was unchanged from August to September at 6.8 percent. It fell in October to 6.7 percent.

Normally, jobless rates come out once a month. Friday’s two-for-one report was released because of the partial government shutdown over the first two weeks of October.

Ken Edmunds, Idaho Department of Labor
State of Idaho

A state Board of Education member is shifting roles, after Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter named him to head the Idaho Department of Labor.

Ken Edmunds of Twin Falls will fill the post starting Nov. 25, replacing Roger Madsen who held the job since 1995.

Edmunds is a Twin Falls businessman whose experience includes working as an accountant and controller as well as an executive for the company that operates Cactus Petes casino in Jackpot, Nev.

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