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Posts tagged: Idaho unemployment

Idaho jobless rate falls below 5%

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell below 5 percent in May for the first time in nearly six years, the Idaho Department of Labor reports. More than 15,000 more Idahoans were working in May than in May of 2013, with the jobless rate at 4.9 percent. Ada County’s rate in May as 4.2 percent; Canyon, 5.6; Kootenai, 5.1; and Bonneville 4.1 percent. You can read Labor’s full announcement here.

Idaho’s jobless rate falls to 5.2%, a five-year low

Unemployment in Idaho fell to 5.2 percent in March, the lowest rate in five and a half years, the Idaho Department of Labor reports. That seasonally adjusted rate was the eighth straight month to show a decline; nationally, the rate was 6.7 percent in March, the same as it was in February. You can read Labor’s full announcement here.

County breakdowns showed Kootenai County’s jobless rate was 6.3 percent in March, down from 6.5 percent in February and 7.7 percent in March of 2013. Bonner County was at 7.6 percent, unchanged from February but well below the 9.3 percent from a year earlier. Shoshone County saw a small rise in unemployment from February to March, from 10.5 percent to 10.7 percent, though it, too, had improved from its March 2013 level of 11.3 percent. The city of Coeur d’Alene showed a 5.8 percent unemployment rate in March, down from 7.3 percent a year earlier.

Idaho unemployment falls to 6.1%

Unemployment in Idaho dropped to 6.1 percent in November, posting the largest one-month decline on record; it was 6.7 percent in October. The Idaho Department of Labor reports that the drop in jobless numbers in Idaho was twice the national drop; the national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped from 7.3 percent to 7 percent. And all 44 of Idaho’s counties saw unemployment drop in November.

Kootenai County’s unemployment rate fell from 7.4 percent to 6.6 percent; Bonner County dropped from 8.8 to 7.6 percent; Boundary County, 9.3 to 8.3 percent; Benewah County, 10.9 to 9.6 percent; and Shoshone County, 12.3 to 10.8 percent. Latah County’s jobless rate declined from 5.9 percent in October to 5.2 percent in November. You can read the Department of Labor’s full announcement here, and see the county-by-county rates here.


Idaho unemployment fell slightly to 6.7% in October

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly to 6.7 percent in October, ending an upward trend in which the rate increased by seven-tenths of a point between April and August. The Idaho Labor Department says the number of Idaho workers without jobs rose slightly in September before falling by more than 1,000 to 54,400 in October, marking the fourth straight month that the number of unemployed has been above 50,000. Idaho's October unemployment benefit payments were down 37 percent from October 2012, with nearly $9 million in state and federal benefits being paid to a weekly average of 8,800 claimants. In October 2012, an average of 14,500 claimants were paid $14.2 million. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in September and 7.3 percent in October, reflecting the temporary layoff of federal employees.

Idaho jobless rate ticks up in July

Idaho’s unemployment rate notched up two-tenths of a percent in July to 6.6 percent, though it was well below the previous July’s rate of 7.2 percent.  Six of Idaho’s 44 counties posted double-digit unemployment rates: Adams, Benewah, Clearwater, Lemhi, Shoshone and Valley; a year earlier, 10 Idaho counties hit that mark.

The Idaho Department of Labor reported that hiring levels slipped below normal in July and seasonal government layoffs ran slightly higher, driving up the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, which now has risen for three straight months, for a rise of half a percentage point since April.

Ada County posted a 5.7 percent unemployment rate in July, down from 6.4 percent a year earlier; Kootenai County, 7.4%, down from 9.4% a year earlier; and Bonneville was at 5.6%, down from 6.1 percent in July 2012. You can read Labor’s full announcement here, and see by-county chart here.

June unemployment rate edges up

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Department of Labor says the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June edged up slightly to 6.4 percent — marking the second straight month the state's jobless rate has crept upward. Last month, the agency pegged Idaho's unemployment rate at 6.2 percent, ending a string of 21 straight months of steady declines in the number of Idahoans without work. The increase also comes amid a period of strong growth in the economy of nonfarm jobs. Overall, the number of workers off the job increased by nearly 1,900 in June, putting the total number of unemployed at more than 49,000. The higher jobless rate was recorded across the state. All but six of the 44 counties had higher June rates than the previous month.

Idaho unemployment rate edges up in May

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho's unemployment rate edged up in May, in part because more people are looking for work. The Idaho Department of Labor says the labor force increased by 1,100 workers in May, pushing the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate from 6.1 percent in April to 6.2 percent in May. It was the first monthly increase since June 2011. Total employment across Idaho in May was 7,300 jobs higher than May 2012, when the unemployment rate was 7.3 percent and nearly 29,000 workers received $28.6 million in unemployment benefits. Last month, nearly 13,900 idled workers received $13.3 million in jobless benefits.

Idaho unemployment rate falls to 6.6 percent in December, lowest in 4 years

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell in December to 6.6 percent, the lowest rate in nearly four years and two-tenths of a percentage down from November, the Idaho Department of Labor reports. This time, the improved numbers weren’t just due to people giving up on looking for work: The state’s labor force expanded for the first time since last May. Labor reports that the December figures reflect 300 new entrants to the workforce and 1,500 unemployed Idahoans who found jobs. You can read their full announcement here.

The Conference Board estimates there are still slightly more than two workers for every job posted in Idaho, but that’s way down from nearly five for every job opening during the worst of the recession in late 2009. Labor reports that the number of counties with double-digit jobless rates fell to five in December, all in northern and north-central Idaho, down from six in November and 13 in December of 2011.

The five were Adams, 15.4%; Clearwater, 12.2%; Valley, 11.9%; Benewah, 10.8%; and Shoshone, 10.6%. The county with the lowest unemployment rate in December was Oneida County, at 4.0 percent; followed by Bear Lake, 4.2%; and Franklin, 4.3%. Ada County was at 5.6 percent; Canyon, 7.3%; and Kootenai, 7.4%.

6,300+ jobless Idahoans get reprieve, under fiscal cliff legislation

More than 6,300 unemployed Idahoans won’t lose their federal extended unemployment benefits this week after all, the Idaho Department of Labor says, under the newly passed legislation to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. Instead, those on extended benefits will continue to receive them, though possibly not for long. Due to drops in Idaho’s unemployment rate, the length of federal extended benefits has been cut back three times in 2012; it’s now at a maximum of 37 weeks beyond the standard state benefit of 10 to 26 weeks; that could drop to a maximum of 28 weeks the second week of February, if unemployment holds steady or continues to fall. At their peak, federal extended benefits lasted for up to 73 weeks. Click below for the full announcement from the Idaho Department of Labor.

Federal extended unemployment benefits end for 6,300-plus Idahoans

More than 6,000 unemployed Idahoans have now seen their federal extended unemployment benefits terminated, the Idaho Department of Labor reports today. The program to provide jobless workers with extended benefits during the recession expired last week; Idaho workers who were getting the payments got their last one this week. Click below for the full news release from the Idaho Department of Labor.

Since the program began in mid-2008, 95,000 Idaho workers shared $900 million in federally financed extended benefits; now, only the regular state unemployment benefit of 10 to 26 weeks is available for the 15,000 Idaho workers who still haven't found new jobs. Last week, just over 6,300 received the extended federal benefits, with an average payment of $248.

Idaho jobless rate falls to 7 percent

Idaho's unemployment rate continued to fall in October, dropping another tenth of a percentage point to 7 percent, the lowest level in 3-1/2 years, the Idaho Department of Labor reports. That was nearly a full percentage point below the national unemployment rate, which rose a tenth to 7.9 percent in October. You can read the full report here from Idaho DOL, and a breakdown here by county, city and labor market areas within the state.

Unemployment fell in August, but state’s workforce still shrank

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) ― Idaho's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly to 7.4 percent in August, in part because fewer people are looking for work. Idaho lost 2,600 workers from its labor force between July and August and more than 5,500 over the summer ― the largest three-month exodus of workers on record in the state. The state Labor Department says nearly 1,100 fewer people were working in August while 1,600 left the ranks of the jobless, dropping the number of people considered to be unemployed to just over 57,000. Since the recession, more than 15,000 workers have exhausted their unemployment benefits without finding jobs and hundreds more lost extended benefits. Businesses report hiring 18,400 workers in August, mostly to replace departing workers.

Idaho employers pay higher unemployment insurance tax, in part because of fraud

Idaho employers facing high unemployment insurance costs can, in part, blame those who get fraudulent benefits, the Associated Press reports; the Idaho Department of Labor is now trying to recover $20 million in fraudulent payments. The state's unemployment trust fund already was under pressure as the 2008 recession pushed the jobless rate north of 9 percent, forcing the state to borrow from the federal government, then sell bonds to repay the debt; the rate at which employers pay into the fund is now at its maximum.

In this year's legislative session, the department proposed a fine for employers who don't report new hires, enabling those workers to fraudulently keep collecting unemployment benefits; it passed the Senate unanimously but was narrowly rejected in the House. Since then, the department has tried radio ads to try to encourage employers to comply with the reporting requirement. Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.

Idaho jobless rate dipped in August

Here's a news item from the Associated Press:  BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho's unemployment rate dipped to 9.2 percent in August, down from 9.4 percent in July. The state Department of Labor released the latest jobless numbers Friday. While Idaho posted its lowest unemployment rate since May 2010, the agency says 70,000 workers were still without jobs last month. Camas County had the highest jobless rate at 16.9 percent, while the lowest was recorded in Owyhee County at 5.3 percent. Nationwide, Idaho was among 12 states where the jobless rate decreased. The federal Labor Department reported Friday that unemployment rates increased in 26 other states and were unchanged in the remaining 12 states. The national unemployment rate stayed at 9.1 percent for the second straight month.

Idaho unemployment held steady in June at 9.4 percent

Here's a news item from the Associated Press:  BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Department of Labor says the statewide unemployment held steady at 9.4 percent in June. The agency released the latest jobless numbers on Friday, saying the Idaho labor pool shrunk for the first time in 10 months as fewer jobs were created and more than 1,800 unemployed workers either gave up their search or left the state in June. Idaho's jobless rate fell to 9.4 percent in May, down from 9.6 percent in April. The labor department says more than 30,000 unemployed workers collected $28.8 million in benefits last month, which is down compared to a year ago when more than 38,000 workers received $41.7 million in June 2010. The state reports more than 10,600 unemployed workers have exhausted their benefits and are still without work.

Idaho unemployment drops in May, but job numbers still down

Idaho's unemployment rate fell for the second straight month in May, but it's not all good news – employers are hiring at rates below the seasonal norm, and certain key sectors are way off – manufacturing payrolls are stuck at 1991 levels, construction employment is at 1994 levels and May's total nonfarm jobs in the state were 0.3 percent lower than May of 2010. “Wages have been rising modestly in recent months due to employers restoring hours cut during the recession or giving raises to workers who took on more responsibilities as payrolls shrank,” writes Bob Fick of the Idaho Department of Labor. Idaho's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May was down two-tenths of a point from April to 9.4 percent. Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate rose two-tenths – but it also was at 9.4 percent. You can read Fick's full report here.

Idaho jobless rate holds at 9.7% in March, for fourth straight month

Idaho’s jobless rate held steady at 9.7 percent in March, the fourth straight month of record high rates, the Idaho Department of Labor reports. However, there may be a glimmer of good news in the report; according to preliminary estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people at work grew faster than the number of people looking for work for the first time in four years. You can read more here.

Jobless rate drops for 3rd straight month

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment dropped for the third straight month in May, after 31 straight monthly rate increases going all the way back to August of 2007. May’s rate was down a tenth of a percentage point to 9 percent, which compares favorably to the national rate, which dropped two-tenths of a point to 9.7 percent in May. “The decline was modest, but it continues what appears to be a downward trend and another sign the worst of the recession may be past,” said Idaho Department of Labor Senior Analyst Eduardo Silva. Click here for more from the Idaho Department of Labor, including tables showing the rates around the state.

Idaho jobless rate falls for first time in 32 months

Idaho’s unemployment rate has dropped for the first time in 32 months, the Idaho Department of Labor reports. The state’s jobless rate for March dropped a tenth of a point to 9.4 percent, and there were more jobs and new job seekers for the first time in three years. Idaho Labor Director Roger Madsen said, “Six key economic indicators - labor force, new hires, total employment, unemployment, job gains, weekly benefit payouts - are all headed in the right direction. I’m very encouraged and optimistic.”

Idaho’s highest unemployment rate ever was 9.6 percent from December 1982 through February 1983, back during the depths of a double-dip recession. The current recession began in December 2007. Things have been rough since then - 53,000 Idahoans are currently drawing unemployment - but the jump in employment from February to March was the highest one-month jump in the number of people working in six years. The last time more people found work in a single month was February 2004, during a record-setting economic expansion. You can read the Department of Labor’s full announcement here, see the latest Idaho state unemployment data here, and see the breakdown by county here.

Idaho unemployment notches up again

Idaho’s unemployment rate has notched up again, this time by a tenth of a percentage point to 9 percent, the highest since June of 1983. The U.S. Department of Labor today revised Idaho’s October rate up from the Nov. 6 forecast, based on additional data; a record 67,800 Idahoans are now jobless, with the state’s total employment dropping below 686,000 for the first time since February of 2005. Click below to read the full news release from the Idaho Department of Labor.

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About this blog

Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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