Survey Looks at Many Aspects of Idaho’s Demographics and Economy

Idaho’s senior population is increasing at a much faster pace than the U.S. as a whole, according to the recently released American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau. Nationally, the senior population – those 64 and older – increased 9.9 percent from 2017 to 2019, while Idaho’s senior population grew 32.4 percent.

In the next couple of months, the Census Bureau will publish American Community Survey data for counties, cities, ZIP code areas, Native American homelands and reservations, and census tracts. The survey provides information about demographics, employment, education, income, poverty, health insurance, veterans, types of households and people with disabilities. The ACS is described as the “most detailed look at America’s people, places and economy.”

Highlights from the new 2018 American Community Survey show how rapidly Idaho’s population is growing and changing, the numbers and types of people moving into the state, the regions where today’s Idaho residents were born, the educational attainment of Idahoans and who is self-employed in the state:

  • Rapid growth of Idaho’s senior population (32.4 percent compared with 9.9 percent for the total state population).
  • Many people are moving to Idaho and they aren’t all rich retirees.
  • Fewer than half (5 percent) of Idahoans were born in Idaho, while 58.1 percent of U.S. residents live in the state where they were born.
  • Idahoans are more likely to have high school diplomas than U.S. residents, but less likely to have college degrees.
  • Female college graduates now outnumber males in Idaho.

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Idaho Workers See Increase in Fringe Benefits from 2013 to 2019


For Immediate Release: Nov. 18, 2019
Information Contact: Craig Shaul (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201 or Salvador Vazquez (208) 332-3570 ext. 3218

In the six years from 2013 to 2019, Idaho employers offered more benefits to a higher percentage of full-time workers than in previous years, according to results of the 2019 Fringe Benefits Survey conducted by the Idaho Department of Labor.

Periodically, the department conducts surveys of Idaho employers on the benefits they offer to their employees beyond wages and salaries. These include health, dental, retirement and paid leave benefits.

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Idaho’s October Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 2.9 Percent


For Immediate Release: Nov. 15, 2019
Information Contact: Karen Jarboe Singletary (208) 332-3570 ext. 3215 or Darlene Carnopis (208) 332-3570 ext. 3439

— 23 Months at or Under 3 Percent —

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 2.9 percent in October for the fourth consecutive month.

An additional 2,438 people made themselves available for work in October, pushing Idaho’s seasonally adjusted labor force up to 884,545. The number of unemployed increased by 112 to 25,736. Total employment grew by 2,326 to 858,809.

Idaho’s labor force participation rate – the percentage of people age 16 years or older working or looking for work – remained unchanged at 64.1 percent.

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Innovative Program in North-Central Idaho Prepares Students for Local Manufacturing Jobs

students working on band saw

Ty Johannesen, left, and Jaiden Caviness (both from Lewiston), work together on a project using a band-saw. The two students attended training at Lewis and Clark State College over the summer.

Nezperce High School senior Joe McGuigan is one of a handful of high school students who landed a summer job with a manufacturing company after participating in an industry-based apprenticeship program. He worked for Hillco Technologies last summer, starting at $11 an hour as a summer intern, and he learned a wide variety of skill sets on the job, including driving a forklift and running machines.

There are more than 100 companies engaged in metal fabrication and manufacturing in north central Idaho – machine shops, guns and ammunition, farm equipment manufacturers and more. The workforce serving those companies is aging and nearing retirement age, and there’s a shortage of entry-level workers with the skills necessary to serve the industry.

“Manufacturing has picked up in the small communities in north central Idaho, including in Lewiston and Grangeville, and it’s tough hiring people to work in manufacturing in this area,” said Lenny Hill, McGuigan’s boss and president of Hillco Technologies.

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U.S. Department of Labor Recognizes Three Idaho Businesses for Supporting Veterans


For Immediate Release: Nov. 8, 2019
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102

LA Aluminum Casting Company of Hayden, Sunterra Supports Services LLC of Idaho Falls and Intermountain Polygraph Services of Twin Falls each received a 2019 HIRE Vets Medallion Program Demonstration Award. The U.S. Department of Labor program recognizes job creators for their leadership in recruiting, employing and retaining America’s veterans.

The awards were presented Nov. 6 at a ceremony hosted by U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia at the Department’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in October 2019

Information provided in these news updates is from professional sources, news releases, weekly and daily newspapers, television and other media.

Northern Idaho
North Central Idaho
Southwestern Idaho
South Central Idaho
Eastern Idaho


NORTHERN IDAHO – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone counties

Bonner County

  • Summit Cancer Centers has opened a new cancer clinic in Sandpoint. The clinic offers imaging services, as well as immunotherapy and chemotherapy. Source: Journal of Business

Kootenai County

  • Blue Cross of Idaho opened a new office in Coeur d’Alene. The new facility, which will eventually employ 40 people, will provide local customer service to Blue Cross health services members in northern Idaho. Source: Journal of Business
  • TDS Telecommunications, a Wisconsin-based internet service provider, opened a retail store in Coeur d’Alene. TDS is also planning to install roughly 700 miles of fiber cable in Kootenai County over the next three years. Source: Journal of Business
  • Construction is underway on a new elementary school in Coeur d’Alene. The new school, which will have more than 53,000 square feet of space, will replace an older facility in Hayden as the home of Coeur d’Alene’s NExA program for K-5 students, which uses expeditionary learning models. Source: Journal of Business
  • The Coeur d’Alene City Council approved a deal with T. LaRiviere Construction to begin work on the Atlas Waterfront Park. The new park will add public access to 3,800 feet of waterfront, and will include a variety of park facilities such as a dog park and kayak launch. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

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Hiring Challenges Point to a Need for more STEM Workers in Idaho

As Idaho’s employment projections indicate an increased demand for STEM jobs in the next decade, the state’s employers will face even more challenges when filling those positions in the near future if supply does not increase to match the growing need.

With record low unemployment rates in Idaho and the nation as a whole, help wanted ads have languished unfilled for longer stretches of time. Close to 70 percent of the job postings in a given month were unfilled/reposted from the previous month, and more than 50 percent of them have remained unfilled for more than 90 days.

Employers looking for STEM applicants are facing even tougher times given the relatively smaller pool of STEM workers available and the higher educational and training requirements for these jobs. Openings of lengthy duration can be interpreted – with some caution – as a shortage. In that case, targeted occupational and regional STEM training and education would have enormous benefits in addressing a growing need. Continue reading

Idaho Human Rights Commission Launches Language Access Plan


For Immediate Release: Oct. 23, 2019
Information Contact: Benjamin Earwicker, (208) 344-2873 ext. 4055

The Idaho Human Rights Commission has launched a new Language Access Plan to ensure speakers of all languages, especially individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP), have access to the commission’s processes and services.

Assistance for limited English proficient customers include:

  • Bilingual staff: Five commission employees are fluent in Spanish and English and available to assist individuals over the phone or in person during normal business hours.
  • Over the phone interpreting: The commission provides customer access to live professional interpreters over the phone for more than 200 languages.
  • Written translation: Individuals can request help with interpretation or translating essential documents, which include written materials critical for accessing commission programs and services.
  • Materials/brochures: Informational brochures are currently available in English and Spanish.

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Idaho Department of Labor Releases Service Plan for Meridian and McCall Areas


For Immediate Release: Oct. 23, 2019
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102

The Idaho Department of Labor has implemented its new service model in the Meridian and McCall areas, providing direct mobile services to eight communities.

Labor staff will offer walk-in hours and appointment times in these communities with the same services staff have traditionally provided. Those include resume writing, applying for jobs, filing for unemployment insurance benefits, mock interviews, connections to community resources, job training assistance and more. Staff will also continue to serve businesses with listing open jobs, collecting applications, connecting to resources and assisting with recruitment.

Jani Revier, Labor director, said many citizens who have not traditionally had easy access to in-person Labor services should be better served by this model.

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Idaho Job Corps Program to Begin Offering Services for Students


For Immediate Release: Oct. 22, 2019
Information Contact: Tina Polishchuk, (208) 442-4520

The Idaho Job Corps program will begin offering services for its first group of students today, Oct. 22, at the Centennial Job Corps facility, located in Nampa.

The program is funded by a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, awarded to the Idaho Department of Labor, to serve income-eligible youth age 16-24 by connecting them to training and workplace opportunities.

“This demonstration project between the Department of Labor and the state of Idaho is intended to meet the specific workforce needs of the state and take Job Corps into the future,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training John Pallasch. “Welcoming students to their program marks an important moment in this new endeavor, and the Department of Labor is rooting for the success of each and every student who arrives to take control of his or her future.”

Students could be enrolled in the program 3-24 months, depending on their career trajectory, and the goal of the program is to place every student into a sustainable job by the time they graduate from the program.

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