Bringing the Economy Home


Work in Progress: Idaho's Unemployment App


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

Laid-Off Clearwater Paper Sawmill Workers Eligible For Retraining Grants

Workers laid off from the Clearwater Paper sawmill in Lewiston could be eligible for re-employment services through the Idaho Department of Labor. About 250 sawmill workers were laid off back in November 2011 after Clearwater Paper sold its mill operation.  At least 100 of those laid off got their jobs back when it reopened, but […]

Idaho Lags Behind Nation In Percent Of People With A College Degree

There are fewer people with college degrees in Idaho than in many of its neighboring states and the nation. U.S. Census Bureau data from 2010 shows 24.4 percent of Idahoans aged 25 or older have a bachelor’s degree or higher.  The national average in 2010 was 28.2 percent. A report from Georgetown University’s Center on […]

Five Percent Of Idaho’s Workforce Earned Minimum Wage In 2011

The Idaho Department of Labor’s latest monthly newsletter describes how the state’s proportion of minimum wage jobs has shifted over the course of the recession.  A greater share of Idaho’s workforce is earning minimum wage now than in 2007, the height of the economic boom. Nearly 19,000 Idaho workers earned minimum wage last year, that’s […]

Jobless In Idaho: Promise Of Work In The Oilfields

Idaho’s economy is moving in a positive direction, but it still hasn’t made up for the jobs lost during the Great Recession.  Allen Brown got his layoff notice in the fall of 2011.  Now, at 44-years-old, he’s waiting to start a new career.  We check in with Brown for our continuing series Jobless In Idaho. […]

Small Business Owners Rank Idaho ‘Friendliest’ State

A new survey out today from, an online job service, and the Kauffman Foundation finds Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma and Utah are the friendliest states for small businesses. The survey asked more than 6,000 small business owners to rank states based on ease of starting a new businesses, cost of hiring, regulatory friendliness, tax code […]

Jobless In Idaho: Ten Weeks To Find Work

Idaho’s economic picture has begun to brighten, but the state has yet to make up the jobs it lost in the downturn.  Many in Idaho have watched their months of unemployment add up.  Single mom Kelly Barker is one of them.  She just reached an anniversary she’d rather not observe.  It has now been a […]

Idaho’s Unemployment Rate Falls, But National Focus Is On Fragility

Thirty states including Idaho saw their unemployment rates fall in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Idaho’s rate dipped below 8 percent for the first time in more than two years, landing at 7.9 percent.  Furthermore, just three states still have unemployment rates in the double digits, a striking improvement from two years […]

Idaho’s Jobless Rate Dips Below 8 Percent

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March dropped below 8 percent to 7.9 percent. The Idaho Department of Labor reports that’s the first time the state’s jobless rate has dipped below 8 percent in more than two years.  Still, almost 62,000 Idahoans are out of work. The data show Idaho’s jobless rate has been on the […]

Most County Jobless Rates Going Down, How Does Yours Stack Up?

Idaho’s February jobless rate was estimated at 8.0 percent.  That’s lower than the U.S. average and it’s the lowest it has been since September 2009. Recent county-by-county data also shows improvement. You can check out how the jobless rate in your county has changed over time at the Work In Progress data interactive. Surprised by […]

Forbes Says Boise Is Second Best Place To Raise A Family

Forbes says Boise is the second best place in the country to raise a family. Second to Grand Rapids, Michigan. The business magazine looked at income, cost of living, school quality, crime rates, and housing affordability to make its top picks. “The relative strength of Grand Rapids’ housing market is enough to push it past […]

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