Emilie Ritter Saunders was StateImpact Idaho's multimedia reporter until the project merged with the Boise State Public Radio site in July 2013. She previously worked as the Capitol Bureau Chief for Montana Public Radio and was a Senior Fellow with NPR's Economic Training Project from 2009 until 2010. She graduated from the University of Montana School of Journalism in 2007.
The number of Idahoans who don’t have enough work declined between 2011 and 2012, but the state’s underemployment rate is still well above pre-recession levels.
The Idaho Department of Labor writes in its latest newsletter the 2012 underemployment rate was 16.9 percent. That means nearly 17 percent of Idaho’s workforce had part-time or temporary jobs when they wanted full-time work. That measure also includes people with associate’s degrees or higher, who are registered with an unemployment office and are searching for a different job.
Idaho’s underemployment rate in 2007, the year before the recession, was 10.9 percent. As this chart from the Idaho Department of Labor shows, as the economy worsened, those rates increased.
Members of the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee, or JFAC, will spend three days at north Idaho businesses, landmarks, and schools.
Legislative budget and policy analyst Keith Bybee says it’s a chance for lawmakers to see how budget policies and decisions are working, instead of just hearing about it when they’re in a committee room at the Capitol in Boise.
Bybee says it’s important for lawmakers to understand how staffers like him spend the legislative off-season. “We spend a lot of time writing reports and making sure they [legislators] have the best information possible,” says Bybee. Continue Reading →
Wells Fargo representative Josh Plummer talked to dozens of would-be call center workers at a recent job fair in Boise.
Idaho is one of the best states to be without a job. That’s according to government data analyzed by Bloomberg.
The online business news site says it considered average unemployment insurance benefits as a percentage of average per capita income, the jobless rate, wealth disparity, and the ratio of households earning at least $200,000 to those earning less than $10,000 annually. Continue Reading →
As Stateline reports, in states that expand the program, adults at 138 percent of the federal poverty line (that’s earning $15,415 annually) will be eligible for health care in January through Medicaid. But not in Idaho. Continue Reading →
The Department reports 18 groups applied for the grant funding. Seven will receive the awards totaling $844,093. An additional $105,907 will go to the Idaho Commerce Business and Jobs Development fund.
Idaho is one of 24 states on track to reject expanded Medicaid coverage for more low-income Idahoans. A recent article by the Los Angeles Times finds states without plans to expand Medicaid have higher rates of colon cancer and breast cancer deaths, and higher rates of gum disease.
The article says the health gap will continue to widen between the states with more Medicaid availability and those without.
Today, for example, about 94% of adults under 65 in Massachusetts have health coverage, the highest rate in the nation. The state guarantees coverage through Medicaid or commercial insurance under a plan developed in 2006 by then-Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, and Democratic state lawmakers. By contrast, only 68% of working-age Texans are insured, the lowest rate. Continue Reading →
The same data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics also show Idaho has more minimum-wage earners, in raw numbers, than 18 other states. Many of those states have fewer people living in them, but six of the states have larger populations.
Connecticut, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia all have more people than Idaho, but fewer people making minimum wage or less.