National News

St. Luke’s cuts workforce
Feb 13, 2023

St. Luke’s cuts 2% of workforce as COVID relief wanes but costs remain high

[caption id="attachment_289407" align="alignnone" width="600"] Boise St. Luke's exterior. Photo by Pete Grady Photography[/caption] St. Luke’s Health system announced Wednesday that it plans to cut its workforce by 2% by April. It has already eliminated about 150 jobs through attrition, but it will now lay off nearly 200 employees over the next two months. St. Luke’s employs more than 16[...]

Feb 13, 2023

US Postmaster general delivers upbeat report to governors

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said there is new "energy, focus and improvement” across the Postal Service, and he touted upcoming electric delivery trucks as making the Postal Service a leader in carbon footprint reduction during an upbeat report to postal governors on Thursday. [caption id="attachment_289429" align="alignright" width="300"] FILE - Postmaster General of the United States Lou[...]

photo of airplane
Feb 10, 2023

Pilot shortage puts pressure on airline operations

Until last summer, Ashley Montano had never flown. Now she was preparing to land a small plane with three passengers after a previous touch-and-go that had been rough. “The plane is a bit heavy, so give it just a little more power to make a smooth landing,” flight instructor Jason Fink told her. There was the tiniest of bounces as the plane's nose came down, then a smooth touchdown and t[...]

Feb 9, 2023

Average long-term US mortgage rates inch back up this week

The average long-term U.S. mortgage rate ticked up slightly this week after four weeks of declines, a possible sign of stability that could draw in home shoppers with spring buying season weeks away. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average on the benchmark 30-year rate inched up to 6.12% this week from 6.09% last week. The average rate a year ago was 3.69%. The average [...]

Feb 8, 2023

Biden in State of Union exhorts Congress: ‘Finish the job’

President Joe Biden exhorted Congress Tuesday night to work with him to “finish the job” of rebuilding the economy and uniting the nation as he delivered a State of the Union address aimed at reassuring a country beset by pessimism and fraught political divisions. In his 73-minute speech, Biden sought to portray a nation dramatically improved from the one he took charge of two years ago: [...]

Feb 8, 2023

$8,500 workforce training grant bill squeaks through Idaho House on close vote

Following the longest floor debate of the year on Monday, a divided Idaho House of Representatives narrowly passed a bill that would provide $8,500 workforce training grants to Idaho high school graduates to put toward career training. Legislators spent more than two hours debating House Bill 24 straight through their lunch hour before voting 36-34 to pass the bill. Had just one of the 70 mem[...]

Feb 8, 2023

An unexpected job surge confounds the Fed’s economic models

Does the Federal Reserve have it wrong? For months, the Fed has been warily watching the U.S. economy's robust job gains out of concern that employers, desperate to hire, would keep boosting pay and, in turn, keep inflation high. But January’s blowout job growth coincided with an actual slowdown in wage growth. And it followed an easing of numerous inflation measures in recent months. [...]

Feb 7, 2023

Fed’s Powell: Strong hiring could force further rate hikes

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday that if the U.S. job market further strengthens in the coming months or inflation readings accelerate, the Fed might have to raise its benchmark interest rate higher than it now projects. Powell's remarks followed the government's blockbuster report last week that employers added 517,000 jobs in January, nearly double December's gain. The unempl[...]

Feb 7, 2023

Stocks slip as worries about high rates weigh on Wall Street

Wall Street is slipping on Monday, adding to losses from the end of last week on worries about higher interest rates and inflation. The S&P 500 was 0.7% lower in afternoon trading and on track for a second straight fall after a stunningly strong report on the U.S. jobs market dented the market’s hopes for easing interest rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 75 points, or 0.2[...]

photo of kuna house for sale
Feb 7, 2023

Average long-term mortgage rate falls a fourth straight week

The average long-term U.S. mortgage rate declined for the fourth week in a row, a sign of relative stability that could potentially open the door for some prospective homebuyers to get back in the market. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average on the benchmark 30-year rate fell to 6.09% from 6.13% last week. That's the lowest level since September. The average rate a year[...]

Feb 3, 2023

US consumer confidence lags as 2023 gets under way 

American consumers are kicking off 2023 a bit less confident than they were at the end of last year as inflation and the possibility of a recession loom.  The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its consumer confidence index slipped to a still-optimistic 107.1 in January, down from 109 in December. Last month's reading was the highest the index has reached since April.  The business res[...]

Feb 2, 2023

US wage growth slowed in the final quarter of 2022

Pay and benefits for America's workers grew at a healthy but more gradual pace in the final three months of 2022, a third straight slowdown, which could help reassure the Federal Reserve that wage gains won't fuel higher inflation. Wages and benefits, such as health insurance, grew 1% in the October-December quarter compared with the previous three months. That marked a solid gain, though it w[...]