Dec. 22, 2017: What to Know 

  • Bingo Barnes

  • President Donald Trump has signed the Republican-backed tax reform bill into law. The New York Times reported this morning that Trump signed the $1.5 trillion package with little fanfare: After seeing television networks question whether he would sign the bill before Christmas as part of a promise, he decided not to hold a formal signing ceremony, instead calling his staff early this morning demanding to sign the bill "now." Easily the largest and most significant achievement of the Trump administration so far, the tax bill has been criticized as a multi-trillion-dollar giveaway to corporations that will be paid for by taxpayers. Its supporters say it will spur economic growth and increase wages.

  • John Schnatter, founder of pizza chain Papa John's, is out as CEO of the company, CNN reports. The ousting came on the heels of his widely publicized comments about the ongoing controversy over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, and how it was affecting pizza sales. So far this year, Papa John's stock price has dropped more than 30 percent.

  • The unemployment rate in Idaho remained unchanged in November at 2.9 percent, according to the Idaho Department of Labor, but the labor force increased by almost 1 percent over October to 835,890. Though the number of unemployed people increased by 2.4 percent between October and November, the DoL said that wasn't enough to raise the unemployment rate. Meanwhile, labor force participation is on the rise for the fourth month in a row, increasing by half a point to 64 percent.

    • Public Domain
  • On the topic of growth, Idaho is now the most rapidly growing U.S. state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Though other states are far larger in terms of population—giants like California, Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania top the list—the Gem State has a 2.2 percent growth rate. Its closest competitors, Nevada and Utah, have 2- and 1.9-percent growth rates, respectively. The growth of Idaho and Nevada can be attributed to domestic migration, but in Utah, population growth has been attributed to a high birth rate.
Idaho in Nation's Fastest-Growing State[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]
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