Idaho’s economy has generated about 16,000 nonfarm jobs in 2013. Health care, manufacturing, leisure and hospitality and construction were the most expansive sectors, accounting for 64 percent of the growth. The majority of jobs in every case were in southwestern Idaho, the state’s population center.
The biggest share was in manufacturing, which generated 16.5 percent of the new jobs, with durable manufacturing carrying the load. Since wages are typically higher in durable manufacturing than nondurable, those new jobs accounted for two-thirds of the $300 million in new wages that sector provided. The opening of the Chobani Greek yogurt plant in Twin Falls boosted nondurable manufacturing.
The largest percentage employment growth statewide was in construction at 7.3 percent, boosting payroll $94 million in 2013. This is a tremendous uptick but only highlights the severity of construction’s job loss during the recession.
Health Care and Social Assistance
Health care was a leading industry before, during and since the Great Recession as baby boomers aged and health care services expanded to greater segments of society. This trend will continue. Total wage growth was 6.2 percent from 2012 to 2013, about $195 million as the sector added 2,218 jobs in 2013, a growth of 3.8 percent. Health care had the highest growth rate of these four industries in the number of business establishments at 4.8 percent – 240 new businesses operating in either health care or social assistance.
Leisure and Hospitality
Leisure and hospitality rebounded to within 350 jobs of its prerecession peak. The average employment grew 3.7 percent in 2013, adding 2,322 jobs, most of which were part time requiring minimal skills. Total wages were up 5 percent, about $46 million, a smaller amount compared to the other sectors. Establishments grew fractionally – another 26 over the year in a sector where restaurant and bar openings can typically be offset by closures.
Jan.Roeser@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
(208) 332-3570 ext 3639