Bringing the Economy Home

Essential State Impact: 5 Most Popular Stories This Week

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Here’s a look back at our most viewed, shared and commented stories of the week.

  1. In Rural Idaho, the Recession Changes One Town’s Fate:  Idaho is one of a handful of states where the unemployment rate has gone up since the national recession ended more than two years ago.  Numbers have soared to their highest levels in rural places, among them Camas County in central Idaho.  This summer, local unemployment approached 17 percent.  That’s a number that has left Fairfield, population 416 and the only town in Camas County, struggling for survival.
  2. Jobless in Idaho: A Former HP Employee Struggles Through Years of Unemployment: Nathan Bussey began working for Hewlett-Packard before he’d even graduated from college.  He was still a student at Boise State University when he started out in the tech support call center in 1999.  By 2005, he’d landed a job as a technical consultant, working on printer installations for Fortune 100 companies all over the country.  Then, in 2008, he got bad news.  He, like many others on his team, was being laid off.
  3. Understanding Federal Unemployment Insurance Benefits: Idaho’s Department of Labor reports unemployed workers in the state have collected $750 million in federal extended benefits since 2008.  This story breaks down how the system works.
  4. The Future of Idaho’s Unemployment Benefits Uncertain:  Idaho’s Department of Labor Director, with support of the Governor, is urging Congress to let federal unemployment benefits expire on December 31.  That news broke at the beginning of November.  Now, new estimates released this week by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office suggest increasing benefits for the unemployed could be the best policy for short-term job growth.
  5. How Idaho Unemployment Rates are Paid For: Idaho’s unemployment insurance program is paid for by a tax on employers.  Department of Labor Spokesman Bob Fick says the amount each business pays is based on its experience with the fund.  In other words, if you’ve laid off a lot of people, you will pay a higher tax rate than a company that has never done layoffs.


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