Idaho Department of Labor

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows the influx of people flocking to the Gem State boosting populations – and changing the fortunes – of a majority of Idaho’s cities. However, smaller communities aren’t seeing the same spikes.

City of Meridian, Idaho - Government / Facebook

One Idaho town is among the fastest-growing communities in the nation. That’s just one finding in the latest release of data from the U.S. Census Bureau.


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The Idaho Department of Labor is out with its latest monthly jobs report. It finds the state’s unemployment rate has held steady for half a year.

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Idaho’s unemployment rate has plummeted seven straight months to a record low in September. The state’s unemployment rate is 2.8 percent – the lowest it’s been since the statistic started being tracked in 1976.


Ken Edmunds, Idaho Department of Labor
State of Idaho

Tuesday the head of the Idaho Department of Labor resigned from his job, effective immediately. Ken Edmunds has faced a handful of scandals while at the helm.

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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.  

money, dollars, wages
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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.

npr.org/blogs/money

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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