Labor market continues to squeeze in Idaho

“For every unemployed person, there is at least one job that is available”
The Idaho Department of Labor says this is due to people leaving the workforce
Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 6:41 PM MST
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MAGIC VALLEY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The unemployment rate in Idaho and the South Central Region was once again extremely low for November.

Putting you first, KMVT found out what some of these numbers mean, and how the holiday is impacting businesses.

Stressed about what is ahead, Paul Alden, general manager of Soldier Mountain, has just enough workers to pull off the operation.

“If somebody gets ill, that does leave a dent,” Alden said.

When it comes to hiring and applications, it’s an uphill climb for downhill fun.

“Nothing in months in months. Normally, we probably get three or four (applications) a week, but we’re not getting any now,” said Alden.

According to Alden, the mountain has raised wages this year.

Around 300 people left the workforce in the South Central Region last month, which includes Camas County, according to the Idaho Department of Labor.

While it’s a seasonal phenomenon, numbers are a little higher than normal.

“The labor force usually declines by less than 150 to 200 people, so it’s not a big deal but it’s still something that kind of stands out,” said Idaho Department of Labor Economist Bonang Seoela.

In the region, there are plenty of jobs out there.

“For every unemployed person, there is at least one job that is available,” said Seoela.

This means workers have more bargaining power at this point. Seoela expects a shift away from this eventually, but with all the external factors of the pandemic, he doesn’t know when.

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