Kootenai County’s jobless rate fell a fraction in July while Idaho’s statewide unemployment rate inched upward.
Kootenai County’s rate dropped from 7.5 percent to 7.4 percent; the statewide increase was from 6.4 percent to 6.6 percent, according to Idaho’s Department of Labor.
In July 2012, Kootenai County had a 9.4 percent jobless rate.
The statewide jobless rate reflects an increase in seasonal government layoffs and a slowing down of summer hiring, the department said.
At the same time, the state said unemployment in Idaho’s five metro areas all declined in July.
The state uses civilian labor force numbers to define the jobless rate. Those are derived from interviews of worker households. Another job-tracking number, total nonfarm employment, comes from employer surveys.
Using nonfarm job numbers covering the past year, the Coeur d’Alene metro area saw a 4.3 percent gain. That is the highest year-over-year gain in the state, said Alivia Metts, regional economist for North Idaho.
The growth in Coeur d’Alene came in several sectors, with the largest coming in the accommodations and food-service sector, she said.
“July was the third straight month that (Coeur d’Alene’s) nonfarm total grew year over year,” she said.
Judge won’t expedite Icahn suit against Dell
WILMINGTON, Del. – A Delaware judge refused to fast-track a trial on billionaire investor Carl Icahn’s claims that Dell Inc. directors have breached their fiduciary duties in scheduling a vote on founder and CEO Michael Dell’s bid to take the embattled computer maker private.
Dell’s board has scheduled a shareholder vote on Michael Dell’s $24.8 billion buyout offer for Sept. 12, followed by an annual meeting Oct. 17.
Icahn wanted the merger vote and annual meeting held the same day. He said that would give shareholders a chance to vote on a rival board slate he would offer in support of his alternative proposal that he says would be better for shareholders.
Feds trying to prevent Bernanke questioning
WASHINGTON – The government is trying to block questioning of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in a lawsuit by the former head of American International Group Inc.
The Justice Department told a federal appeals court Friday that high-ranking officials should not have to testify except in extraordinary circumstances.
Former AIG CEO Hank Greenberg sued the United States over the $182 billion bailout of the insurance giant that has since been repaid. Greenberg claims the bailout terms were too onerous and is seeking at least $25 billion.
It is rare for a Fed chairman to be questioned in a lawsuit, but U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Thomas Wheeler ruled that Bernanke has firsthand knowledge of the bailout and should undergo questioning.
Productivity up slightly after quarterly decline
WASHINGTON – U.S. worker productivity accelerated to a still-modest 0.9 percent annual pace between April and June after dropping the previous quarter.
The second-quarter gain reversed a decline in the January-March quarter when the Labor Department’s revised numbers show productivity shrank at a 1.7 percent annual pace.
Labor costs rose at a 1.4 percent annual pace from April through June, reversing a revised 4.2 percent drop the previous quarter.