On Wednesday, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis will release personal income data for 2012. In anticipation of that release, StateImpact Idaho pulled together personal income data going back to 1990 and compared it with the U.S. average. The data show a widening gap between Idaho and the country as a whole.
Homeowners, credit intact, still making their monthly mortgage payments. They’re not who we think of first when we think of the damage brought on by the housing crisis. But in a sprawling, master-planned southwest Boise subdivision called Charter Pointe, they’re a group that has struggled.
Boise home values have improved by nearly five percent from their post-recession low. That’s enough of an increase that a recent Brookings Institution report ranks the city first for its house price recovery. StateImpactreported that finding early this week.
For months now, our “Jobless in Idaho” series has followed people here in Idaho as they search for work against hard odds. Kelly Barker, a single mom from Meridian, had been out of work for the better part of a year when we met her last winter. Since then, she’s made do with a combination of temp work, food stamps and unemployment benefits. In April, those benefits were running out.
Barker was scouring the web for job possibilities when we last met. It was a tense time, and Barker knew there was only one option. She had to find work. “I don’t have a contingency plan,” she said. “You know, a mortgage payment – you’d have to have a lot of savings to sustain you for a long period of time, and I don’t, so I have ten weeks to find a job. Period.”
By one measure, Idaho’s economy has regained the ground it lost in the recession.
The state’s real gross state product (translation: the total value of all goods and services produced in Idaho, corrected for inflation) was greater in 2011 than it was in 2007. That’s according to the Idaho Department of Labor.
The weak economy has exposed shortcomings in a little-known program of the U.S. State Department. Each year, tens of thousands of refugees arrive in the U.S. Most take out federally-funded loans to cover the cost of travel. Continue reading.
Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March dropped below 8 percent to 7.9 percent. The Idaho Department of Labor reports that’s the first time the state’s jobless rate has dipped below 8 percent in more than two years. Still, almost 62,000 Idahoans are out of work.