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Biz ‘Bites:’ Idaho hires and quits

Walmart is hiring again

The pandemic economy was good to some businesses, like Walmart as one example. As a result, Walmart announced on March 16 that it’s hiring — again. In that announcement, Walmart said: “As we are in our first quarter, we plan to hire more than 50,000 U.S. associates in our stores, clubs, campuses and supply chain facilities.”

The FAST Unloader system scans and sorts items that come off Walmart trucks, allowing associates to spend less time unloading and more time on the sales floor.
Photo courtesy of Walmart

The Idaho Business Review checked Walmart’s company hiring site and found that all of the Idaho Walmart and Sam’s Club store jobs were posted on Feb. 24, which is in contrast with Walmart jobs in Idaho on, which were posted March 16 through March 18. The range of starting wages was $11 through $15 per hour. While those might appear to be unappealing wages, Walmart states it provides reasonable-priced medical insurance, a 401K program for hourly employees and a college-tuition program.

SEL to fill 100+ assembler openings

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) has announced it is looking to hire more than 100 people to work at its manufacturing operations in Lewiston and Pullman, Washington.

“The assembler position offers a great opportunity for people who like to work with their hands and minds to build products and solutions that make a positive difference in the world,” said Stacey Doty, chief people officer, in a statement. “This event also offers people a great way to get their foot in the door of a great company serving a critical industry!”

With no experience necessary, assemblers receive a starting wage of $18 per hour with full benefits, the announcement stated, including participation in SEL’s employee stock ownership plan. Assemblers receive comprehensive on-the-job training to learn how to accurately

Senior Assembler Hannah Kolar. Photo courtesy of SEL

assemble, solder, inspect and test products. They work with professionals throughout the company to identify creative methods for building products used by customers around the world.

“I didn’t know the first thing about electronic assembly when I started at SEL,” Hannah Kolar, a senior assembler who joined the company in June 2021, said in a statement. “I wondered if it might be repetitive, boring or have high complexity. But every day I’m seeing something new and learning something different; I feel challenged at a level that’s reachable, and I have new confidence in my ability to grow and learn.”

While many of the positions are available immediately, there is potential for start dates to occur later, including some to coincide with the spring graduation schedule for local universities and high schools.

Idaho’s quitting time

Imagine a time when Idaho didn’t set some business growth record, economy recovery record or unemployment record. It just happened for jobs in January 2022.

January 2022 was the eighth straight month where more than four million people walked off their jobs nationally. Some 28,000 of those job quitters were in Idaho, according to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) issued on March 17; but according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), very little in the national employment scene changed nationally or in Idaho.

Idaho had just one exception: the Gem State lost approximately 6,000 job openings between December and January, dropping from 69,000 openings (rate 7.9%) in December 2021 to 63,000 openings (rate 7.2%) in January 2022, for a month-to-month job openings rate change of -0.7.

According to the Idaho Department of Labor, Idaho’s January unemployment rate was 3%. All the statistics reported here are seasonally adjusted for non-farm employment.

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