Information provided in these news updates is from professional sources, news releases, weekly and daily newspapers, television and other media.
North Central Idaho
South Central Idaho
NORTHERN IDAHO – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone counties
- Schweitzer Mountain Resort has begun construction on resort improvements to create more efficient access to the mountain, including new roadways, 1,400 additional parking spaces and a new chairlift. This will be followed by future developments expanding the resort’s skiable terrain. Source: Bonner County Daily Bee
- The 50-acre Millworx location in Post Falls is now under development and will include a 60-unit mixed use building — with both multi-family residential units and commercial spaces — 61 townhomes, a hotel and several commercial buildings. The development, formerly home to the Idaho Veneer Mill, is slated for completion in 2023. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
- Construction has begun on the planned 18-story Thomas George building in Coeur d’Alene. The building will eventually include 60 luxury condominiums and retail spaces on the ground floor. It is scheduled for completion in March 2024. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
- The Kootenai Humane Society has begun construction on a new 20,000-square-foot shelter in Hayden. The new facility is expected to be completed by year-end. Source: Journal of Business
- Toro Viejo & Barracho
- ECJ Billiards
- Bottle Joy Taphouse
- Memory Lane Gems
- Grace & Joy
- Pearl and Tin
- Klein Chiropractic, Hayden
- Advanced Personal Protection, Hayden
- Paddler’s Alehouse, Sandpoint
Sam.Wolkenhauer@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451
NORTH CENTRAL IDAHO – Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis and Nez Perce counties
- In north central Idaho, the May unemployment rate increased from 2.5% to 2.9% from April but was a decrease of 1% year over year from 3.9% in May 2021. Although all five counties together experienced positive employment growth of just below 2% to 53,000 jobs in May, the region’s number of unemployed persons increased by 18% to more than 1,500. North central Idaho’s labor force gained 2.3% during the month, with 965 job gains offset by an additional 243 unemployed people. The region’s unemployment increase is likely a result of weather-related factors that continue to restrain activity in outdoor industries including forestry/logging, agriculture, construction and tourism as April-June precipitation has measured approximately three times higher than the standard seasonal average.
- May’s average weekly continuing unemployment insurance claims were down 180 or 30%, from April’s 259 and down 35% year over year from 278 in May 2021. Monthly initial claims were down 48% from April and down 55% from May 2021.
- Top five industries for new job postings in May were health care and social assistance (16% of total), educational services (12%), retail trade (8%), accommodation/food services (7%) and manufacturing (6%).
- Industries that have seen an increase in job postings to date in 2022 compared with 2021 are education at 116% (600 postings), public administration at 27% (290 postings), manufacturing at 8% (270 postings), and management of companies and enterprises at 22% (30 postings). Industries seeing the largest declines in job postings to date in 2022 compared with 2021 are admin support/waste management, down 61% (160 postings), finance and insurance down 68% (40 postings), real estate down 30% (120 postings), wholesale trade down 42% (70 postings) and transportation/warehousing down 47% (50 postings).
- With the Federal Reserve recently raising the federal funds rate by 0.75% in June, average 30-year mortgage rates are now between 5.5% to 6% for the first time since 2008. In contrast, average mortgage rates were around 3% during 2021. North central Idaho saw median existing home price declines during May for the first time in 2022. Month’s supply of listing inventory generally increased throughout the region, ranging from one month of supply in Nez Perce County, up 0.7 of a month’s supply in May 2021, to five months supply in Idaho County, up from three months one year earlier. The 14 new construction industry jobs posted in May were an increase from the eight posted in April but down significantly from 40 posted in May 2021. Year-to-date, new construction postings were down 38% in 2022 — 50-60 postings — compared with the same time in 2021, which had 90-100 postings. Source: Freddie Mac, Intermountain MLS, EMSI Burning Glass
- The Nez Perce Tribe is working to build a tribe-to-tribe solar and renewable energy utility cooperative to become energy independent and create jobs on rural reservations. With three large solar operation projects completed in Lapwai, Nimiipuu Energy has four additional projects in the works to generate 500+ megawatts by 2027. These will connect with other tribal projects totaling 5+ gigawatts of alternatively produced power via a virtual power plant. Source: Lewiston Tribune
- Idaho’s Federalism Committee has hired Utah-based Aeon AI to appraise federal land values in Boundary, Canyon and Clearwater counties to determine how much tax revenue could be generated by local governments if the land was privately owned and subject to property taxes. Work on the land valuation and written report is expected to be completed this fall. According to the Idaho Forest Factbook, 54% of Clearwater County’s forest land is under federal ownership while an additional 17% is owned by the state of Idaho and other public entities. Forest land makes up 89% of Clearwater County’s 1.52-million-acre land area. Source: Lewiston Tribune, University of Idaho Forest Factbook
- Lewis-Clark Valley Healthcare Foundation awarded nearly $70,000 in fast-track grants to eight north central Idaho community organizations in June 2022. These include $10,000 each to Family Promise of the Palouse in Moscow, Upriver Youth Leadership Council in Kamiah, Senior Citizens Dollar a Month Club in Grangeville, Gina Quesenberry Foundation and AARC in Lewiston. Other awards include $9,000 to J-K Senior Meals in Kendrick, $7,500 to Inland Oasis Food Pantry in Moscow and $3,240 to Clearwater Basin Youth Conservation Corps. Source: Lewis-Clark Valley Healthcare Foundation
Nez Perce/Idaho County
- Brad Little declared both Nez Perce and Idaho counties disaster areas – the first weather-related declaration in Idaho this year – from significant damage due to recent excessive rainfall. In early June, Nez Perce County experienced flooded homes and washouts on at least eight local county roads and highways. The disaster declaration will provide funding to both counties for repair efforts. Idaho County engineers estimate repairs of at least $1.5 million to three damaged road systems, which may increase as they continue to assess the 400-mile road system. As of June 21, the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport had 14 days of measurable precipitation during the month adding up to more than 3.2” of rain. The normal average is around 1” of precipitation for the month. Source: KREM 2 News, Lewiston Tribune, Lewiston Nez-Perce Airport Weather Data
- The University of Idaho will offer its first-ever associate degrees in the College of Natural Resources starting this fall. Three programs offering associate of science degrees include forest operations and technology, forest nursery management and technology and wildland fuel and fire technology. Upon completion, students can choose continue studies to earn a bachelor’s degree at UI in those programs. UI is the only four-year institution in Idaho that has not previously offered associate degrees. Source: Lewiston Tribune, Idaho State Board of Education
- After jointly managing the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery since 2005, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is transitioning all fish production responsibilities and associated staffing at the hatchery to the Nez Perce Tribe. Currently, Fish and Wildlife Service provides between 15-25 jobs in Clearwater County. It is unknown at this time whether the transition will result in a change in employment levels within the facility. Source: Department of Labor, US Fish and Wildlife Service
- After breaking ground in 2020, construction of the new Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Supervisor’s Office in Kamiah has been completed. The $9 million, 15,000-square-foot building will be home for up to 80 forest service employees. The structure combines innovative timber technologies and energy efficiency in its design. The building is among the first in Idaho to use cross-laminated timber technology and is the first U.S. Department of Agriculture building constructed with BioPreferred cross-laminated timber. The Forest Service is the fourth largest employer in Lewis County with up to 100 employees in 2021. Source: Idaho County Free Press, Department of Labor
- Neat bar to open July 1 in Moscow. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
- Mystic Rose thrift store, formerly Finders Keepers, is under new ownership in Orofino. Source: Clearwater Tribune
- Eden Salon and Spa took over ownership of Signatures Salon and Spa in Lewiston. Source: Eden Salon and Spa
- The Old Vineyard antique store in downtown Moscow opened in the space that was previously Old Thing Antiques, which opened in 2012. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
Lisa.Grigg@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 799-5000 ext. 3849
SOUTHWESTERN IDAHO – Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley & Washington Counties
- The former Regal Edwards Downtown Theatre in Boise, which served film goers for 15 years with nine screens, closed in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Cinema West plans to reopen the theatre as a boutique version of its Village Cinema in Meridian, naming it BoDo Cinema. Besides renovating the interior, the operators plan to add two smaller theatres for groups to reserve VIP space and add features like electric chaise lounges. Cinema West is headquartered in Petaluma, California. It currently operates 14 theatres in California, one in Twin Falls and one in Meridian. BoDo Cinema’s opening is scheduled for the holiday season of 2022 or early 2023. Source: KTVB News
- Bodo’s new Food Hall is scheduled to open July 12.
- Meridian broke ground on a new first responders’ facility that has both a police precinct and a fire station on the same campus. The facility will save costs for the community and provide both organizations with needed facilities in northwest Meridian, reducing response times for this growing city quadrant. Source: KTVB News
- Cortland — an acquisition, renovation and management firm based in Atlanta, Georgia — is purchasing multi-family residential properties across the Treasure Valley. The company purchased The Addison, a 237-unit apartment building in Boise, which was constructed and leased by Gardner Company in 2021. Its new name will be Cortland by the River. The Ten Mile and Franklin Apartments consisting of 368 units in Meridian is now Cortland at Ten Mile. The company has six regional offices across the U.S. It has expanded with global platforms since its pivot after the Great Recession when it stopped developing apartments and started acquiring existing properties. Source: company website Cortland.com and the Idaho Statesman
- The Intermountain Multiple Listing Service reported the May 2022 median sales price for homes in Ada County rose to $602,250, a record high. Sales have dropped by 5.2% from the previous May, likely due to rising mortgage interest rates surpassing 5% compared with record-low interest rates of 2% to 3% during the pandemic. Housing inventory has tripled since May 2021, slightly increasing the amount of time taken to sell the properties from 11 days to 14 days on average in Ada County. Source: Intermountain MLS
- A welcome center opened in Nampa for Ukrainian refugees at the site of the former Lighthouse Rescue Mission. The center opening celebration welcomed about 200 Ukrainian refugees who were directed to Idaho. Hosts were the Idaho Alliance for Ukrainian Immigrants and Refugees with the help of the Idaho Office for Refugees. Volunteers will run the center and help the new transplants with basic needs and employment information. The center has limited space for those needing temporary housing. Source: Boise State Public Radio
- The Intermountain Multiple Listing Service reported the May 2022 median sales price in Canyon County rose to $459,995, up 12.61% from the previous May. Sales have dropped by 4.25% year over year, and days on the market increased from 12 to 21. Both statistics were impacted by higher interest rates and more supply. Housing inventory is 140% higher compared with May 2021. Source: Intermountain MLS
- Ginn Group hosted a groundbreaking for Turner House Depot, a new subdivision in Mountain Home. The property will include 233 single-family homes, 32 town homes and 22 live-work homes built on 28 acres with walking paths and a dog park. The developer refers to the housing project as ‘middle’ housing, indicating price points that are more affordable for families and those in mid-career jobs. Source: Mountain Home News and City of Mountain Home
- Homedale High School celebrated a senior class of 25 graduates. Source: Owyhee Avalanche
- Perpetua Resources is starting remediation on streams throughout the Stibnite mine area near Yellow Pine at an estimated cost of $12 million, confirmed via an agreement between Perpetua, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The company has plans to mine gold and antimony from the site, but cleanup of waste generated by Bradley Mining Company operations in the 1930s–1950s is the first step. More than 300,000 pounds of rock must be removed from East Fork South Fork of the Salmon River and Meadow Creek at the expense of Perpetua Resource, which comprises only 5% of the waste at the site. Source: McCall-Star News
Jan.Roeser@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 735-2500 ext. 3639
SOUTH CENTRAL IDAHO – Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka & Twin Falls counties
- The city of Bellevue has approved Family Dollar Store’s application for a building expansion. The city has also approved a 3% occupancy tax for hotels, motels and short-term rental properties of 30 days or fewer. The tax receipts are projected to reach about $82,000 per year. These funds will be used for street repairs and other needs. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
- The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a $28,714 fine to Gem State Processing, a Heyburn-based potato processing business, after an investigation into a fatal accident at the plant. The penalties were issued on May 13 and abated on June 9. Source: Times-News
Twin Falls County
- The Valley House homeless shelter opened a new facility which can house an additional 60 people. Source: Times-News
- Clif Bar & Co. has been sold for $2.9 billion to Mondelez International, a multinational food, beverage and snack company based in Chicago. Clif Bar & Co. will continue to manufacture its products at the Twin Falls facility and at another location in Indianapolis, Indiana. Source: Times-News
- Gem Prep Twin Falls, a new K-12 college prep school set to open in August 2023, has been awarded $837,500 in federal funds. The school has seats for 574 students and is part of the statewide Gem Prep charter consortium. Source: Times-News
- Taco Villa – Twin Falls
- Reed’s Dairy – Twin Falls
- Duck Donuts – Twin Falls
Bonang.Seoela@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 788-3526 ext. 3820
SOUTHEASTERN IDAHO – Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida & Power counties
- Labor force estimates for May 2022 from the Idaho Department of Labor’s Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program saw increases from April data in both employment and unemployment for southeastern Idaho. Seasonally adjusted, May’s preliminary estimates show the seven-county region gained 525 Idahoans employed or looking for work from April. Total employment rose by 428 people, or 2.6%, which was 0.9 percentage points less than in May 2021. The number of unemployed individuals increased by 97 from April to May but was 651 fewer than in May 2021.
- There were an estimated 1,178 job postings in the southeastern region in May 2022, according to data from the Conference Board. Of these postings, 825 were in Bannock County, 158 in Bingham County, 72 in Power County, 61 in Franklin County, 36 in Caribou County, 14 in Bear Lake County and 12 in Oneida County. The top 10 most common occupations by job posting include transportation and material moving; retail sales; computer and mathematical; health care and social assistance; and food services.
- Health care and social assistance remained at the top of industries by largest share of job postings. Services continue to be the overall driver of job postings with health care and social assistance; educational services; retail trade; accommodation and food services; and others representing most open positions in the region. Manufacturing was fourth in the region for largest share of job postings, and construction came in ninth.
- Conference Board data indicates that the hardest-to-fill jobs were concentrated in education and training-related occupations as well as law, compliance and public safety.
- The wet spring season has provided some relief to local farmers and water managers, but southeastern Idaho remains in some form of drought according to data from the U.S. Drought Monitor. Franklin and parts of Bear Lake, Bannock, Caribou and Oneida counties have been experiencing the worst drought conditions in the region, with an extreme drought designation (D3). The rest of the region ranges from moderate (D1) to severe (D2) drought designations. Forecasts for the summer call for high temperatures and below-average precipitation. Source: U.S. Drought Monitor, Idaho State Journal
- The Idaho Community Foundation awarded grants totaling more than $140,000 for eastern and southeastern Idaho educational efforts, landscaping, beautification and public recreation in the region. Recipients included North Gem Education Foundation in Caribou County, Oneida County Library, United Way of Southeastern Idaho, American Falls School District #381, the city of Aberdeen, Montpelier Community Foundation, Nell J. Redfield Memorial Hospital in Oneida County, Portneuf Greenway Foundation in Bannock County and the Samaria Community Foundation in Oneida County.
- Summer concert season kicked off with Revive @ 5 in Historic Downtown Pocatello as well as American Falls Music in the Park and the annual Pebble Creek Wildflower and Music Festival. Source: Idaho State Journal
- The Portneuf Medical Center received a Primary Plus Stroke Center certification (PSC+) from DNV, the second-highest level of stroke certification that can be received. Source: KIFI Local News 8
- The city of Pocatello is still taking applications for temporary rental and mortgage assistance through CARES Act funds. Qualified applicants are encouraged to contact the city’s Community Development Block Grant Program for further information. Source: KIFI Local News 8
- Sundt Construction along with its joint business partner Cannon Builders were awarded the I-86 and I-15 System Interchange reconstruction project from the Idaho Transportation Department. The $112 million project includes the replacement of eight bridges and a 1.3-mile pedestrian and bike path. Source: Idaho State Journal
- The Boys & Girls Club of the Portneuf Valley exceeded its $200,000 funding goal for future expansion. Source: Idaho State Journal
- A bakery previously located in Preston is set to open in McCammon this summer. Rae’s Bake Shoppe & Café will offer a breakfast and lunch menu. Source: Idaho State Journal
- Gate City Coffee opened its doors in Historic Downtown Pocatello, offering coffee, drinks and assorted pastries and sandwiches. Source: Idaho State Journal
- Reed’s Waffles & Ice Cream in Pocatello opened, offering 16 ice cream flavors from Reed’s Dairy in Idaho Falls, along with hot sandwiches and soup. Source: Idaho State Journal
- Villano’s Italian reopened from inside Star Route Brewery in Historic Downtown Pocatello after closing at the beginning of the year. Source: Idaho State Journal
- Owners of Deleta Skating & Family Fun Center in Pocatello, who are planning to retire in August, are considering offers for a buyer to purchase the skating rink after 30 years of operating the business. Source: Idaho State Journal
- In June, two train derailments within eight days occurred along the Union Pacific railway in Pocatello causing some disruptions with regular rail service. Together the incidents involved 35 rail cars. No report is available on costs related to the derailments. Sources: Idaho State Journal, EastIdahoNew.com
- The Bannock Development Corporation met with airport consultant Stephen Van Beek to discuss economic development plans for the Pocatello Regional Airport. The airport has experienced some recent setbacks and narrowly avoided losing one of its local passenger service providers. Source: Idaho State Journal
- The Economic Development Administration awarded Blackfoot School District a $3.3 million grant to create the Blackfoot Technical Education Center. Upon completion, the center will house current and new technical courses as well as offer educational opportunities for adults in the area. Source: KIFI Local News 8
- Due to recent abuses by recreationists, the Idaho Department of Lands has closed endowment land at East Fork of Rock Creek to camping and UTVs. Walk-in day use will still be permitted provided people stop leaving trash in the area. Source: Idaho State Journal
Matthew.Paskash@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4249
EASTERN IDAHO – Bonneville, Butte, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison & Teton counties
- Labor force estimates for May from the Idaho Department of Labor’s Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program saw growth from April in employment as well as unemployment. Seasonally adjusted, May 2022’s preliminary estimates show the nine-county region gained 1,306 labor force participants that month. Total employment rose by 1,200 people from April to 125,307, which was an increase of 7,536 from a year earlier. The number of unemployed individuals increased by 106 from April but was 773 fewer than in May 2021. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly to 2.2%, down from 3.0% the same time last year.
Source: Idaho Department of Labor
- There were an estimated 1,804 job postings in the eastern region in May 2022, according to data from the Conference Board. Of these postings, 1,373 were in Bonneville County, 157 in Madison County, 67 in Jefferson County, 64 in Lemhi County, 62 in Teton County, 40 in Fremont County, 22 in Butte County, 16 in Custer County and 3 in Clark County. The top 10 most common occupations by job posting included registered nurses, retail salespersons, first-line supervisors of retail sales workers, and heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers.
- The health care and social assistance sector remains the largest industry in terms of job postings. Services including public administration, retail trade, accommodation and food services, and educational services appear to be the dominant sectors hiring in the eastern region.
- Conference Board data indicates the hardest-to-fill jobs include occupational categories of health care practitioners; arts, design, entertainment, sports and media; architecture and engineering; and computer and mathematics.
- The wet spring season has provided some relief to local farmers and water managers, but eastern Idaho remains in some form of drought according to data from the U.S. Drought Monitor. Drought conditions vary from moderate (D1) or severe (D2). Source: U.S. Drought Monitor
- The Idaho Community Foundation awarded grants totaling more than $140,000 for Eastern and Southeastern Idaho educational efforts, landscaping, beautification and public recreation in the region. Recipients included Challis Public Library, Island Park Charter School, Salmon Pioneer Elementary School and Teton Valley Education Foundation.
- Officials with the U.S. Department of Energy released an environmental study for a proposed nuclear test reactor to be built at the eastern Idaho site that includes the Idaho National Laboratory. The Versatile Test Reactor would be the first new test reactor built in the U.S. in decades. Source: KIFI Local News 8
- Farmers markets returned for the season including the Teton Valley Famers Market in Driggs and the Idaho Falls Farmers Market. Source: Post Register, Teton Valley News
- The College of Eastern Idaho (CEI) announced it will be increasing tuition and fees for the first time in five years. The CEI board of trustees approved a general fee increase of $11 per credit hour starting this fall, bringing the new total for tuition and fees to $140 per credit hour. Source: Post Register
- Recent flooding forced the closure of Yellowstone National Park June 13, disrupting tourism for gateway communities around the park including many in eastern Idaho. The south loop was reopened on an interim visitor access plan June 22, but park officials say the northern portion of the park will likely remain closed for a substantial length of time. Source: Post Register, Idaho State Journal, KIFI Local News 8, National Park Service
- The Jackson Hole Airport is scheduled to reopen in June 2022 after several weeks of runway repair work. Flights had been rerouted through Idaho Falls Regional Airport, increasing passenger traffic there along with added flight services to and from Reno, Nevada, and Boise. Source: KIFI Local News 8, Idaho State Journal, Post Register
- A new senior apartment complex is under construction in Idaho Falls with an expected opening in fall 2023. The Ivory at Woodruff will be a 99-unit, three-story building with single- and two-bedroom floor plans. It will feature a main clubhouse for community-type events. Source: Post Register
- Officials with the city of Idaho Falls kicked off the Greater Idaho Falls Transit On-Demand rideshare service. Residents can now schedule a ride by phone, with a general fare of $3 a person per one-way ride and discounted rates for qualified individuals including older adults. The service will be available 14 hours a day, six days a week. Source: Post Register
- The EBR-1 Atomic Museum located at the Idaho National Laboratory reopened after being closed the past two summers due to COVID-19. New this year is a memorial plaque honoring the men who died at the SL-1 reactor in 1961. Source: KIFI Local News 8
- Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve began its summer hours, with the popular cave area and first-come-first-serve campground now open to the public. Ranger programs and other special events will occur throughout the season as well. Source: KIFI Local News 8
- Local conservationist groups filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to stop exploratory drilling by a Canadian company hoping to build a gold mine in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. This comes after the U.S. Forest Service granted a drilling permit and after conservationist groups filed similar lawsuits over previous drilling projects. Source: Post Register, Idaho Press
- Volunteers from local and state conservationist groups worked with staff from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management-Upper Snake Field Office to restore the western shoreline of Henrys Lake near Island Park. This is part of a multi-year project to protect the shore from erosion and ice surge in the winter season, both of which contribute to siltation and degradation of water quality. Source: KIFI Local News 8
- Local stakeholders are partnering on a project that was awarded $1.1 million from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grant Program. The project aims to conserve water and improve the efficiency and precision of delivery to water users in eastern Idaho. The project involves lining 5.7 miles of Conant Creek Canal, changing the point of diversion and establishing an automation system on the diversion gates and spill location. Source: KIFI Local News 8
- Just 4 Kids Urgent Care will expand with a new facility set to open in Rexburg this summer. Once open, the center will treat a range of acute illnesses and injuries. Source: Idaho Business Review
Matthew.Paskash@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4249