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Eye On Boise

Posts tagged: jobless

Idaho unemployment drops to lowest in 6 years

Here’s a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho's unemployment rate fell to 4.1 percent in October. The Idaho Department of Labor in a statement Friday says that's the lowest unemployment rate in the state in more than six years. The agency also says last month's drop of four-tenths of a percentage point is the largest one-month change on record for the state. In all, Idaho added 1,200 new jobs in October.

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 gets grant for worker retraining

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho is getting more than $675,000 to help retrain workers who have been out of work for more than 27 weeks. The U.S. Department of Labor announced the grant this week — part of a $58 million package dispersed to 30 states. The grants will support unemployed workers seeking to get training or industry certifications, enroll in apprentice programs or other training that can lead to jobs. The federal agency awarded the money on each state's ability to meet certain guidelines. Idaho got the second smallest amount, while Texas won the biggest amount at $4.4 million.

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 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.

Another uptick in unemployment

Today the U.S. Department of Labor adjusted Idaho’s forecasted August unemployment rate upward to 8.9 percent, a seasonally adjusted figure that’s the highest rate since June of 1983, when Idaho joblessness hit 9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. “Total employment at 686,400 was at its lowest level since February 2005,” the Idaho Department of Labor reported. “In just the last year, Idaho lost over 48,000 jobs.”

The high rate means workers who’ve exhausted their federal and state unemployment benefits will qualify for some additional payments, for another three to seven weeks after regular benefits have run out. Bob Fick, Idaho Department of Labor spokesman, said roughly 150 Idahoans a week are now exhausting their unemployment benefits.

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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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