Idaho Department of Labor

Gene Han / Flickr

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.   

job fair, Meridian, unemployment
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.

NPCA Photos / Flickr Creative Commons

The Times-News reports at least 1,100 furloughed federal workers have applied for unemployment benefits in Idaho since the government partially shutdown Oct. 1.

Nicholas D. / Flickr Creative Commons

After a sharp decline, Idaho's tourism industry is on the rise. The Department of Labor reports that 851 jobs have been added in the tourism sector since 2010. Restaurants, bars and hotels make up most of those jobs.

Jobs
Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio/ StateImpact Idaho

Idaho employers reported hiring 23,400 workers in July.  That’s the highest number of new monthly hires since the Great Recession started according to the Idaho Department of Labor. 

The monthly report based on employer filings of newly hired workers within 20 days of their hiring showed July’s total exceeded July 2007 by 500.

The report features the number of people hired to fill new jobs as well as existing jobs that are filled because workers retired, died, quit or were fired. ~Idaho Department of Labor

Job fair, unemployment
Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

Idaho’s unemployment rate went up in June. The increase from 6.2 percent in May to 6.4 percent in June, makes it the second month in a row more Idahoans were looking for work.

The two-month uptick follows nearly two years of slow but steady declines in Idaho joblessness. National unemployment for June held steady at 7.6 percent.

Idaho’s increase comes in part because more than 1,400 people started looking for work last month. But it also reflects a slight drop in the total number of people with jobs.

Chris Butler / Idaho Statesman

Last month, Transform Solar announced that it was closing and laying off about 250 people at its facility in Nampa. As StateImpact reported, the manufacturer of high-tech solar cells, had received $1.68 million in workforce training grants from the state of Idaho — money that the company will not have to pay back.

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...