Bringing the Economy Home

North Idaho Miners Find Work After Lay-Offs

Courtesy of Hecla Mining

Lucky Friday Mine workers in Mullan, Idaho are valued for their skill at "jackleg" mining, using hand-held equipment seen here.

Work hasn’t been hard to find for laid-off miners in the Coeur d’Alene area.  The Northwest News Network reports about 250 miners and contractors were laid-off at the end of 2011 when the Lucky Friday Mine was shut down over safety concerns.

Since November 2011 Kootenai County’s jobless rate has declined more than two percentage points.  February 2012 estimates show the county’s rate is just above the state average at 8.1 percent.

“The price of gold and silver right now makes experienced miners a hot commodity. Idaho labor officials say some Lucky Friday Mine workers have been temporarily recruited to California, Nevada, Montana, Alaska — and even the sunnier climes of Guatemala. In many cases, their families remain in Idaho to wait out the year-long closure of the Lucky Friday.” – Northwest News Network

You can read the full story here.



About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »