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Jobless? OK. But hopeless? No way

| June 14, 2020 1:00 AM

Before we pummel your Sunday stomach with some painful statistics, we promise: They’ll be followed by encouragement and a potent suggestion.

On Thursday, when the stock market gasped, new initial claims for unemployment benefits in Idaho increased 8 percent for the week ending June 6, the Idaho Department of Labor reported. Since the governor’s COVID-19 state of emergency declaration, laid-off Idaho workers filed 149,227 initial claims for unemployment benefits.

In the June 6 weekly report, areas with the largest shares of claims were health care and social assistance at 13 percent; manufacturing at 12 percent, accommodation and food services at 11 percent, and retail with nearly 10 percent. Combined, these four sectors continued to account for about half of all new claims filed during the week.

By age, 26 percent of claims were for those 25 to 34 years old and 21 percent for people ages 35 to 44. Young people under age 25 represented 15 percent of initial claims for the week.

According to May jobless data analyzed by Idaho Business for Education, fewer than half the Idahoans with only a high school diploma are working, while nearly two-thirds of those with a college degree are employed.

You see where this is headed, of course: To our let’s take this mess and make something beautiful out of it place.

To North Idaho College.

As reporter Devin Weeks has chronicled, a relatively small investment in time and treasure can set a new path for a lifetime of reward — financial, emotional, intellectual. The smart money says NIC has a better option for the vast majority of those who are relegated to today’s unemployment line, particularly as the nation grasps the difficulty a full economic recovery faces.

It’s a fact of life that post-high school certificate programs, technical training or academic degrees don’t dazzle so much in a booming economy as in one that’s reeling. But whatever it takes to help you spread your entrepreneurial wings, to discover a livelihood that makes you happy to head to work each day, to feel like you’re being rewarded with something approaching how much you value your contributions, consider it a blessing rather than a curse.

Tap the army of professionals at NIC to help you find your way to a better, a much brighter tomorrow.

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Information: NIC.edu

Workforce Training: www.nic.edu/wtc or 208-769-3214