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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.