Jobs

Wages
4:45 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Idaho's Average Hourly Wage Ticks Up, Doesn't Keep Up With National Growth

Credit 401(K)2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho's average wage increased by almost 20 cents last year. But wage growth isn't keeping up with the national average. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Employment Survey finds Idaho's average hourly wage for all jobs was $18.67 last year, that's up 19 cents from 2012. Still, Idaho's average wage was almost 84 percent of the national average, which is $22.33 an hour.  

The survey also found that half of Idaho's hourly employees earned $14.68 or less in 2013. That's a 10 cent increase from 2012. 

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Jobs
1:16 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Boise Health Insurance Exchange Call Center Lays Off 1,600

A Boise call center that helps people sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is laying off nearly its entire work force as the federal exchange open enrollment period ends.

Maximus Inc. hired about 1,800 people for the Boise facility last year.

In a letter to employees on Monday, company officials announced that 1,600 employees will be laid off in April because they won't be needed when the federal enrollment period ends. Company officials say some employees may be hired back this fall, in preparation for the next enrollment period.

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Idaho Legislature
11:35 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Proposal Would Let Idaho School Boards' Spouses Get District Jobs

Credit Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

A legislative proposal could clear the way for Idaho's smallest school districts and charter schools to hire the spouses of their board members.

Rep. Marc Gibbs, a Republican lawmaker from Grace, said Tuesday that smaller schools face problems when the only qualified applicant for a position is married to a board member.

A district or charter school that wants to hire a board member's spouse must have less than 1,200 students to qualify, and must first advertise the position for 60 days, or for 15 days if the vacancy crops up during the school year.

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Economy
6:00 am
Tue January 14, 2014

New Idaho Labor Chief Says State Needs To Shift Focus To Better Paying Jobs

Idaho Labor Department Director Ken Edmunds works in his Boise office. Edmunds took over the agency's top position in November.
Credit 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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Jobs
8:14 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Jobless Benefits Wind Down For 2,500 Idahoans

Idaho's share of the now-expiring extended federal unemployment benefit program is ending at $800 million in payments, with the last 2,500 long-term unemployed workers in the state getting their final cut this week.

Congress didn't renew the extended benefit program that began in 2008, just after the recession began, to ease pain of escalating unemployment amid the housing bubble's burst and deep dip of the stock market.

But the extended program is just a share of money paid out to jobless people since 2008.

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Economy
1:21 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Idaho's Jobless Rate Falls To 6.1 Percent In November

Idaho's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by a record sixth-tenths of a percentage point to 6.1 percent in November.

The state Labor Department said Friday the rate matches the post-recession low posted last spring and the decline is double the previous record one-month swing of three-tenths of a percentage point.

The agency says about 3,800 more Idahoans were at work in November, with total unemployment dropping to 47,300, the lowest level since last spring.

In November 2012, Idaho's unemployment rate was 6.5 percent with over 50,000 people out of work.

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Unemployment Benefits
5:58 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Long-Term Unemployed Scramble As Loss Of Benefits Looms

Job seekers look for work at the Worksource Oregon office in Salem.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

About 45,000 people in the Northwest will face the new year without the unemployment benefits they've come to rely on.

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Economy
6:02 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Long-Term Unemployed Face End Of Benefits

The holiday season will mean an end to unemployment checks for about 1.3 million Americans, including about 45,000 jobless in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. 

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Agriculture
6:38 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Washington State Sees Big Jump In Use of Temporary Foreign Farmhands

File photo.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Northwest farmers hired significantly more foreign guest workers this season under a special immigration program.

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Economy
8:57 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Idaho Jobless Claims Drop To Lowest Level Since 2006

An employer talks with a job seeker at an Idaho job fair.
Credit Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's unemployment insurance claims dropped to their lowest level since 2006, a year of strong economic growth that preceded the deep recession that began in December 2007.

The Department of Labor said Monday it paid 7,462 regular benefit claims during the third week of November, 14 fewer than that week in 2006.

The amount paid was still 23 percent higher than 2006, however, because the average benefit is $25 higher this year at $255, reflecting benefit increases over the past seven years.

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Unemployment
12:07 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Idaho’s Unemployment Rate Falls Slightly In October

Job seekers speak with potential employers at a Meridian, Idaho job fair.
Credit 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.

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Labor Department
3:59 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Twin Falls Businessman, Board Of Education Member To Head Idaho's Labor Department

Edmunds is a businessman from Twin Falls, Idaho.
Credit 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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Jobs
3:31 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Heinz To Close Pocatello Facility, Laying Off 410 People

Credit Mat79 / Flickr Creative Commons

H.J. Heinz Co. is closing three plants in North America and cutting 1,350 jobs in an effort to operate more efficiently.

The food maker said Thursday that it will close facilities in South Carolina, Idaho and Canada over the next six to eight months.

KPVI reports 410 people will be laid off from the Pocatello, Idaho facility.

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Economy
5:00 am
Wed October 30, 2013

More Idahoans Sign Up To Be Realtors As Boise's Housing Market Picks Up

Credit Data: Ada County Association of Realtors | Chart: Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Nearly every seat at the Ada County Association of Realtors classroom is taken during a recent training session. The 50 people in attendance are here to become realtors. ACAR director and class teacher Marc Lebowitz  says as the Treasure Valley's housing market picks up, more people are signing up to become realtors. 

“We’re going to go over so much stuff today, it’s going to make your head spin,” Lebowitz tells the class.

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Business
5:34 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Acquisition Of Boise Inc. Complete, Impact On Local Jobs Unclear

It's unclear what will happen to Boise Inc.'s downtown Boise headquarters.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Boise Inc., the Boise-based company that makes cardboard products was officially purchased by Packaging Corporation of America late last week

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Business
4:58 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Energy Bar Company Plans Bakery With 250 Jobs In Twin Falls

Credit Richard Thomas / Flickr Creative Commons

A California-based energy food bar company is planning to break ground on a new baking facility in Twin Falls early in 2015.

Clif Bar company officials joined Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Twin Falls leaders Thursday in announcing the plans. The company anticipates creating 250 jobs when the facility is up and running in late 2016.

Company officials say they intend to invest $160 million into the new facility, with $90 million slotted for the first phase.

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Economy
4:13 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Idaho Jobless Figures On Hold Due To Shutdown

Anyone waiting to learn about unemployment in Idaho for the month of September is just going to have to be patient.

The monthly jobless report was supposed to be released Friday.

But the 16-day partial federal government shutdown has put that deadline in jeopardy, and state labor officials say they have no idea when the latest unemployment figures will be ready for public release. State officials say the lack of federal staff has made calculation of jobless claims and other data impossible.

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Government
1:02 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

How A Government Shutdown Could Impact Idaho

Boise's McClure Federal Building
Credit id.uscourts.gov

It looks like the federal government will shut down Tuesday since Congress hasn’t passed a spending bill.

It’s hard to gauge how that might impact Idaho, but the federal government is the second largest employer here, after the state itself.

About 11,750 Idahoans get paychecks from Uncle Sam and those checks total about $800 million a year. That breaks down to more than $2 million per day flowing into Idaho. But we don’t know how much of that will stop flowing for each day of a government shutdown.

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Unemployment
12:54 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Idaho's Jobless Rate Continues To Climb

Job seekers talk with potential employers at a Meridian, Idaho job fair.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ticked up two-tenths of a percentage point in July to 6.6 percent. The Idaho Labor Department reports this is the third-straight month the jobless rate has increased.

Total employment was down by 800 jobs, falling to 723,100. That's the lowest total employment figure reported since Oct. 2012.

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Micron
1:56 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Micron To Cut 5 Percent Of Its Global Workforce

Micron's Boise headquarters sits east of the city.
Credit Micron Technology

Officials with Micron Technology Inc. say they are seeking to cut 5 percent of the company's workforce in Idaho and abroad.

The cuts were announced Aug. 7 and come in the wake of Micron's acquisition of a Japanese competitor. The company has about 30,000 employees worldwide — so the rollback could impact 1,500 workers.

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