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Work in Progress: Idaho's Unemployment App

Background

Idaho’s unemployment rate continued to go up after the recession was officially declared over in 2009. The monthly jobless rate didn’t start to trend down until recently, and it’s an economic indicator we’ve followed closely over the last few months.  Our coverage is driven in two ways:  data and the personal stories.  This web-based data application combines both.

Our app will let you visualize Idaho’s unemployment rate over time, and in each Idaho county. You can use the map to get specific data for the county you live in. Then, you can use the slider tool to see how the rate has changed in your area overtime compared with the state and national data.

On the left-hand side of the app you’ll find the personal stories we’ve been reporting for the last few months.  The series is called Jobless in Idaho.  There, you’ll find the compelling stories of people who found themselves out of work and in many cases, with few options.  It’s a series of stories we’re updating regularly as each of the people involved find their next opportunity.

 

Latest Posts

A Rancher, A Logger, And Economic Fate In Rural Idaho

Justin and Chris Black, outside the rustic home that serves as Chris Black's cow camp

In Idaho, the timber and ag industries are heavy hitters.  They play big roles in the state’s history and identity.  But the recession has dealt them different hands, dividing rural Idaho into winners and losers.  StateImpact Idaho takes a look at two industries, two counties, and two economic fates. Rancher Chris Black and his son, [...]

Idaho’s May Jobless Rate Goes Up, Ends 9 Straight Months Of Decline

More than 95,000 Idahoans have received federal extended unemployment benefits since the program began.

Mirroring the national jobless rate increase, Idaho’s unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point last month, ending a nine-month decline in the economic measure. Idaho’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate ticked up to 7.8 percent in May, from 7.7 percent in April. Idaho is among 18 states where the jobless rate went up in May, [...]

Jobless In Idaho: Short-Term Work Is A Short-Term Fix

Kelly Barker, in the backyard of her Meridian home.

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 [...]

Work Prospects Vary Not Just By Generation, But By Graduation Class

Workers lined up at a job fair in June.

Here’s one lesson of the economic downturn: unemployment disadvantages different age groups in different ways. Yesterday, we revisited the problem of high teen unemployment, which is particularly severe here in Idaho.  Labor economists predict the resulting lack of work experience among young people — especially those who can’t afford college or choose not to pursue [...]

Out-Of-Work Idaho Teens Could Be Out Of Luck

Court Hanson, a college and career counselor at Boise High School, says he's worried about the lack of job opportunities for students.

The Associated Press highlights the problem of teen unemployment in piece published today.  StateImpact devoted significant time to the issue earlier this year, not long after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released data showing Idaho has one of the highest teen unemployment rates in the nation. Idaho’s teen unemployment rate was nearly 30 percent in [...]

Unemployment Benefits Scaled Back As Idaho’s Jobless Rate Drops

A Department of Labor employee assists a jobless client at a state office in Meridian.

As many as 500 Idahoans will lose unemployment benefits this week, according to the state Department of Labor.  That termination of benefits was triggered when Idaho’s three-month average unemployment rate fell below 8 percent. The Idahoans losing benefits are those who have been in the program the longest, and who are in its final phase.  [...]

Idaho Recovers, Sort Of

In Meridian, a worker trains to become a mechanical technician.

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.

Stateline Charts Job Growth And Decline Post-Recession

Click the image to scroll across the data.

Stateline, a news service from Pew Center on the States, recently posted this colorful look at jobs across all 50 states. According to Stateline, the U.S. has 4.8 million fewer jobs today than it did back in 2008.  The interactive data chart shows Idaho lost the bulk of its jobs in 2009 and 2010. Click [...]

For One Laid-Off Construction Worker, School Was The Only Option

Jesse Guyett, 32, works part time at Boise State Public Radio as an operator technician.

Jesse Guyett fits unwillingly into a crumby statistic.  He is one of about 20,000 Idahoans laid off from a construction job since the economy tanked after 2007.  Idaho Department of Labor data show about 45 percent of the state’s construction jobs have been cut since 2007. Guyett is a journeyman electrician. He went to school [...]

Idaho’s Unemployment Rate Drops To 7.7 Percent

Job seekers mingle at a career fair in Meridian, Idaho.

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point in April, falling to 7.7 percent. The Idaho Department of Labor reports it is the ninth straight month of decline.  April’s jobless rate marks the lowest the state has seen since July 2009. “While the labor force remained essentially unchanged at 779,000 in April, [...]

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