Around Idaho: Economic Activity, October 2022

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

Kootenai County

  • Northwest Specialty Hospital has sold its facilities and property to a Milwaukee-based investment company. The hospital will now be a tenant in the buildings which it formerly owned. The hospital is physician owned and opted to sell as many of the founding providers are nearing retirement and wish to sell their shares. Source: Journal of Business
  • The Athol Retail Park is expanding, with a variety of new businesses planned for the growing commercial zone. New businesses include a Northwest Specialty Hospital clinic, a physical therapy office and a variety of retail and restaurant establishments. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Josephs’ Clinic is now open in Post Falls. The new clinic treats ear, nose, throat and allergy conditions and offers relevant outpatient procedures and surgeries. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • North Idaho College is moving forward with its long-term expansion and renovation plans. Two openings were celebrated – including the expansion of the Meyer Health and Sciences Building and the grand opening of the new Dental Hygiene Clinic. The college’s trustees approved the purchase of additional adjacent residential property to support the college’s long-range strategic plans. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Openings – Coeur d’Alene

  • Terroir Fine Wine
  • Olive + Arrow Boutique
  • Northwell Medical Solutions
  • Coeur Climbing Company
  • Back Pocket Bakery
  • Soul Tribe Collective

Openings – Area

  • The Den, Post Falls
  • Fish On, Rathdrum
  • Platinum Construction, Hayden, regional economist
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

NORTH CENTRAL IDAHO – Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis and Nez Perce counties

North Central Idaho Employment Data September 2022North Central Idaho EUnemployment Data September 2022

  • University of Idaho (UI) and Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC) both saw fall 2022 total student enrollments up about 2% compared to a year ago. This was driven by first year student enrollment, up 17% at UI and up 12% at LCSC. Compared with fall 2019 enrollment levels, UI student enrollment remains down 3.5% while LCSC enrollment is up 0.6%. This is the first year since the pandemic began in spring 2020 where demand for UI’s residence halls and dining services has been robust. Source: Idaho State Board of Education, UI, LCSC
  • The University of Idaho’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences will receive up to $55 million in grant money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program. Funds will support crop research to combat climate change as well as directly benefit participating farmers in staple crops including potatoes, beef, sugar, wheat, barley, hops and chickpeas. Approximately 100 of Idaho’s food producers will be eligible for payments from the program by instituting a selection of climate change initiatives in their cropping methods. Partners in the project include Coeur d’Alene Tribe Natural Resources Department and the Nez Perce Tribe Land Services Division, among others. Source: University of Idaho
  • North central Idaho will receive $8 million, or 16%, of nearly $100 million in statewide grant funds for each of the next two years from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund. Every county in Idaho received funding from this program. Disbursements are based on factors including federal land acres, poverty rates, household median income and unemployment rate. Idaho County’s allocation – $5.1 million – was significantly higher than the average statewide county payout of $1.1 million. The county’s acreage is 83% federal land, and it had an average unemployment rate of 4.9% in 2021 compared with 3.5% for Idaho statewide. The funds can complement existing federal programs and can be used to expand public services, invest in infrastructure or increase the size of the government workforce through bridge/road improvements, county facility upgrades and miscellaneous one-time county projects. The allocation for the other counties in the region includes Clearwater at $2.6 million, Latah at $162,000, Lewis at $50,000 and Nez Perce at $51,000. Federal government employees currently account for less than 2% of north central Idaho’s total employment. Source: Lewiston Tribune, Idaho Association of Counties (IAC)

Nez Perce

  • The Port of Lewiston agreed to sell 5.8 acres in the Harry Wall Industrial Park to Northwest Fourslide as a step towards relocating the high-precision metal stampings and wire forms business to Lewiston from Tualatin, Oregon. Northwest Fourslide plans to begin operations in Lewiston in 2023. The company currently employs approximately 40 workers and expects to fill about half of their immediate labor force needs with local residents. Source: Lewiston Tribune and Northwest Fourslide

Idaho County

  • After switching to a four-day school week for the 2022-23 school year, Mountain View School District in Grangeville has seen student enrollment decline by 12% to 1,150 students. Twenty-eight of the district’s 65 teaching and support positions (43%) have been recently hired or re-assigned, yet the district’s website indicates they are hiring for two high school teachers, one middle school teacher and multiple support positions. Source: Idaho County Free Press, Mountain View School District
  • Syringa Hospital in Grangeville and St. Mary’s Health in Cottonwood are seeking ways to offset staff shortages, which may include working together on hiring/scheduling staff. Although only 15 miles apart, each hospital employs 150-250 staff members and represent two of Idaho County’s top five employers. Source: Idaho County Free Press


  • Koi Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Restaurant plans to open in in downtown Lewiston this winter. Source: Koi Japanese Restaurant


  • Defy Moscow, a trampoline air park, has closed after five years of operation in Moscow.
  • Colter’s Creek Winery is closing its tasting room and restaurant in downtown Juliaetta by December and will offer tastings and tours at the winery. Source: Lewiston Tribune

Occupation Spotlight:  Child care workers

Recent job postings for child care workers in the five north central Idaho counties have seen a drastic increase from six job listings in September 2021 to 52 unique postings in September 2022. From January to September this year, average monthly postings have more than doubled from 11 in 2021 to 24 in 2022. This is a significant level of demand as there are approximately 150 child care workers actively employed in the region with 80 of those in the Lewiston metropolitan area. Part of the increase in postings is from the opening of four new child care establishments in north central Idaho within the past year. In addition, there are fewer hires per posting and they remain active for longer time. The area currently is only realizing .7 hires per posting to date in 2022 compared with 1.5 hires per posting in 2021 and 2.8 hires in 2019. Demand is also coming from employers in non-child care industries who are offering child care benefits to their employees, such as local manufacturing and health care organizations.

    • As of 2021 data, child care workers were the fifth lowest-paying occupation in the Lewiston metropolitan area with an average hourly rate of $12.41 and the seventh lowest-paying occupation in Idaho with a statewide hourly average wage of $11.05. The No. 1 lowest-paying occupation in the Lewiston metro area was fast food cooks at $11.91, and the No. 1 lowest-paying statewide were ushers, lobby attendants and ticket takers at $9.76.
    • Despite the low wages compared with other occupations, the Lewiston metro area had the highest average wage in 2021 for child care workers of all of Idaho’s metro areas —ranging from a low of $10.41 in Pocatello to $12.41 in Lewiston — and was 12% above the Idaho statewide average of $11.05.
    • According to 2021 data from the Economic Policy Institute, Idaho has the seventh lowest absolute annual cost of infant child care at $7,474, or $623 per month, which is 35% below the U.S. average of $11,400. However, this annual cost still accounts for 13% of the median Idaho household income, which is higher than the 7% considered affordable by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
    • Idaho Stars provides scholarship opportunities for Idaho residents pursuing child care development training. More information can be found on their website at, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 799-5000 ext. 3849

SOUTHWESTERN IDAHO – Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley & Washington Counties

Job PostingsChart-Job Postings Southwest Idaho 2011-2022

Ada County

  • In September, single family median home prices were 1% lower than the previous year at $540,000. Inventories have doubled since September 2021 to 2,420 homes on the market. The average time on market to sell a home is now more than a month compared to 15 days in September 2021. There were 700 sales in September 2022, a drop of 30% from the previous year. Source: Intermountain Multiple Listing Service
  • Albertsons and Kroger companies announced a $24.6 billion merger of operations to match up competitively with giants such as Walmart and Amazon, who acquired Whole Foods in 2017. The plan must be approved by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC will review how this acquisition of Albertsons impacts the market. The stores have different brands in different markets. For example, Kroger owns Ralph’s in southern California, QFC in Seattle and Mariano’s in Chicago. Albertsons owns Safeway, Jewel-Osco, Vons and other named banners throughout the United States. Kroger has 11 Fred Meyer stores in Idaho, and Albertsons has 39 retail stores in the state. The companies have agreed to sell up to 650 stores if required by the FTC. Source: The Wall Street Journal and store websites
  • Ada County Commissioners selected a design proposal from Port, a landscape architecture firm, to redesign the eastern portion of Expo Idaho property. The design would include a 25-acre area called ‘The Heart of the Park’ and would include a stage, athletic courts, a running track, a renovated grandstand, concessions, a seasonal ice-skating loop, children’s play areas, an exploration center, a skate park, and a paved loop for walkers and bikers. Fee negotiations will take place before a contract is signed. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • IdeaRoom, headquartered in Boise, received an infusion of $3 million from venture capitalist Arthur Ventures. The company started 10 years ago and has evolved into a SaaS, Software as a Service 3-D configuration company. It plans to keep expanding, using the money to hire software engineers either remotely or in the Treasure Valley, as well as expand its SaaS offerings. The company officials said Boise was chosen because of its quality of life and access to the recreational outdoors. The company currently employs 45 with aggressive hiring plans. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Boise Rescue Mission announced its plan to create a program titled “Cradle of Hope” to help single mothers in crisis. The program will be holistic with plans to provide shelter but work with the mother to plan for a career and get back out on her own. The program will also help educate and raise children – teaching life skills, help with homework and studying concepts, and provide a safe place. Source: KTVB News

Boise County

  • Bogus Basin announced it will start its ski season on Thanksgiving Day after implementing $5 million worth of improvements to the mountain. There are two new runs, expanded and improved beginner terrain, doubling of snow generation capacity, and new technology for registering passes and lift tickets quicker as skiers access the lifts. The nonprofit uses earnings for the amenities offered to the public. The ski area will celebrate its 80th anniversary this year. Source: Idaho Press
  • Bogus Basin also recently hosted a job fair, hoping to hire 500 part-time and full-time seasonal workers. The ski area offers workers various benefits, such as transportation up the hill, discounts on ski and snowboard lessons, equipment rentals, gear and a free all-access pass. Source: Idaho Press

Canyon County

  • In September, single family median home prices were 6% lower than the previous year at $427,000. Inventories have doubled since September 2021 to 1,300 homes on the market. The average time on market to sell a home is now 44 days compared with 19 days in September 2021. There were 77 sales in September, compared with 89 in September 2021 — a drop of almost 14%. Source: Intermountain Multiple Listing Service
  • Canyon County Commissioners passed the 2030 Comprehensive Land Use plan with a 2-1 vote. The county worked for three years prior, ensuring the public provided input and guidance on how they want the area to be developed. The input centered around sustaining the agricultural heritage of the area while providing for ‘agri-tourism’ as an overlay — the definition of which had to be fleshed out as part of the process. The plan addresses the huge growth in the area, and the public demanded planning and foresight. Source: Idaho Press

Owyhee County

  • Homedale voters will decide if they want to establish a library district at the Nov. 8 election. The Gypsy Jackson Memorial Library is currently funded by the city out of its general fund, along with donations and grants obtained by the library director. The library district levy, if approved, would add $50 per $100,000 of property value to patrons’ tax bill. Source: The Owyhee Avalanche

Valley County

  • Stibnite, another name for antimony trisulfide, is a mineral used in the manufacture of ammunition. The Stibnite Mine in Valley County, owned by Perpetua Resources, was recently awarded two federal grants to study the domestic production of military-grade antimony trisulfide. The $200,000 will fund research into alternative methods of purifying antimony trisulfide and to determine if the ore content can meet military specifications to develop the domestic supply chain. Such an increase in domestic production would decrease reliance on the top global producers that supply 90% of the world’s antimony — China, Russia and Tajikistan. This is a long process and is the sixth year under review by the National Environmental Policy Act. The mineral grade is high and could potentially be the only source for antimony in the U.S. During World War II, the Stibnite mine supplied 90% of the antimony and tungsten used by the U.S. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • USA Today named Brundage Mountain Ski Resort as one of the Top 10 Best Ski Resorts. Source: Idaho 6 News


  • The Barrelhouse closed its Garden City restaurant after its leased liquor license was sold. The second location in Bodo is also closed. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Idaho Blueprint & Supply announced it would close the family business after 113 years in downtown Boise. The company sold its building earlier this year. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Paddles Up Poke closed its Caldwell restaurant at Indian Creek, but still runs a nearby restaurant in Nampa. Gandolfo Deli plans to move into the vacated space. Source: Idaho Statesman


  • Azek held a ribbon cutting at its new manufacturing plant in the former Shopko distribution warehouse in Boise. The 350,000-square-foot facility will produce decking materials sourced from recycled materials. The company plans to hire 70 workers and eventually will expand its product line. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Marco, the nation’s fifth largest pizza franchise, is reopening under new ownership in Meridian. The seasoned franchise owner sold his dozen or so restaurants in Texas before moving to the Treasure Valley. He has plans to open another four restaurants throughout the Treasure Valley as soon as locations are identified. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Syngenta held a grand opening at its lab in Nampa to celebrate the $15 million investment in a new building for seed health. The company, headquartered in Basil, Switzerland, provides seed to 30 countries and is the fourth largest vegetable seed company in the world. Syngenta appreciates Idaho’s growers with its high desert climate that is dry and not too moist for seed production in the summer, yet the cold winters kill off insects and disease before they can spread. The company will start construction on another expansion in 2024, focusing on genetics. Syngenta has been in Idaho since 1975. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Fluff Hardware opened in the former Robert Comstock store that moved to a different downtown location. Fluff Hardware makes handmade accessories and hosts private parties to design metal jewelry. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Holy Cow restaurant opened in Eagle in the former Buster’s. The local owners opened its first restaurant in Nampa three years ago. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Batteries Plus opened in west Meridian. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Oh Vegan Soul held a grand opening at Chow Public Market and Eatery in the Boise Spectrum. Source: Idaho Press
  • Johnny Bronx Pizza opened a second restaurant in Meridian serving handmade dough replicating a New York style thin pizza crust. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Chuck E. Cheese held a grand opening of its renovated Boise restaurant and party venue. The updates included more games, a new interactive dance floor and an expanded menu. Source: Idaho News 6
  • Fitness and training center Mecca Gym opened in Meridian. The 23,000-square-foot facility will also house the company’s new headquarters. The gym reports more than 1,000 members in the Treasure Valley. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • A new cultural site in Boise — the Erma Hayman House — was dedicated by city officials and the family of Erma Andre Madry Hayman and is now open to the public. The home is in the historic River Street neighborhood that was one of the most ethnically, racially and culturally diverse in the early 20th Erma Hayman lived to be 102 and was well known as a community advocate. She died in 2009. The Capital City Development Corporation purchased the home from the family in 2011. The city of Boise purchased it from the CCDC in 2018 and its Department of Arts & History has worked with architects and technical staff to establish the site. Source: Boise Weekly

New Construction Projects/Groundbreakings

  • The Wassmuth Center held a groundbreaking on its new building budgeted in the spring at $5.5 million. The existing building is to be razed. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • The Montessori Academy School is under construction in the Barber Station area of Boise. A Weiser development company, Eckhardt Properties, owns the property. Source: Idaho Statesman, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 735-2500 ext. 3639

SOUTH CENTRAL IDAHO – Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka & Twin Falls counties

Blaine County

  •  Blaine County School District recently approved a program to offer affordable housing to qualified employees based on need and priority. The district currently has one single family unit available but is planning on expanding the program in the future. Source: KMVT

Cassia County

  • Alamo Inn & Outpost Steakhouse is under new ownership with updated rooms and cabins. The steakhouse will serve its signature outpost steak along with other favorites. The inn is open 365 days a year. Source: com

Jerome County

  • The College of Southern Idaho has received a $2.5 million grant over five years to provide financial assistance to encourage more students to pursue postsecondary education. The college is partnering with Jerome School District to increase postsecondary numbers from that district. During the pandemic, Jerome High School’s “go on” rate dropped to 37%. The U.S. Department of Education’s Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions program provided the grant to institutions with a student population that is at least 25% Hispanic. CSI was named the first Hispanic-Serving Institution in Idaho. Source: KVMT

Twin Falls County

    • The College of Southern Idaho has received a federal grant to help parents with young children pay for day care while attending college. The grant will provide CSI $175,000 a year for four years, which will help eligible parents of children five years old or younger with child care costs. Applicants are required to take at least six credits per semester and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5. The amount of funding provided will be dependent on the applicant’s income. Source: KVMT
    • Chobani is implementing its second market-based wage increase this year. A 20%-30% wage increase will apply to all hourly manufacturing employees at the Twin Falls plant. This increases entry level wages to$18.50 an hour. Source: KVMT
    • GEM Prep Charter Schools broke ground on a Twin Falls location. The project is expected to be ready for the 2023-2024 school year, opening to 208 students. The initial phase of the project is to build a 28,000-square-foot facility with plans to expand to more than 45,000 square feet in the future. GEM Prep is a free public charter school with grades K – 12 and has an emphasis on preparing students for a postsecondary education. Source: KVMT
    • The city of Twin Falls broke ground on Fire Station #3. The new station will be replacing the current station on the corner of Washington Street South and Balanced Rock Road. This new station will provide room for newer and bigger equipment, which will boost faster response times. The station should be up and ready by next fall. Source: KVMT, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 735-2500 ext. 3062

SOUTHEASTERN IDAHO – Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida &

Region News

  • Employment and unemployment both decreased in the seven-county southeastern region from August to September 2022, according to labor force estimates from the Idaho Department of Labor’s Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program. Seasonally adjusted, September’s preliminary estimates show labor force participants decreased by 361, with 106 fewer unemployed people and 255 fewer employed people. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly to 2.9%, however, compared to 3% the same time last year.

Table: Southeast Idaho Labor Force Data Setpember 2022

  • September 2022 job postings in southeastern Idaho dropped slightly from 854 to 839 from August, according to data from the Conference Board, and were down from 1,160 one year prior. The top 10 most common occupations by job posting included transportation and material moving as well as health care, sales-related, and computer and mathematical occupations.

Table: Top 10 occupation job postings in September 2022

  • 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; retail trade; and professional, scientific and technical services among others representing most open positions in the region. Manufacturing, though, came in at second and construction at seventh.

Southeast Idaho Top 10 industries by job postings September 2022

  • Lightcast’s data from the Conference Board indicates the hardest-to-fill jobs remain concentrated in education, training and library occupations as well as community and social services and protective services, though curators jumped to the top of the list in September 2022.

Table: Top 10 hardest to fill jobs Setpember 2022

  • Most of southeastern Idaho remains in some form of drought according to data from the U.S. Drought Monitor. Drought conditions vary from moderate (D1) to extreme (D3), with southern Bannock and Caribou counties, eastern Oneida County, western and central Bear Lake County, and most of Franklin County experiencing an extreme drought. Source: U.S. Drought Monitor
  • Idaho State University has partnered with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to conduct weekly wastewater surveillance for COVID-19 in Bannock, Bingham, Blaine, Caribou and Minidoka counties. The tests can help detect community-level outbreaks and provide an early warning signal for health care and public health professionals. Source: KIFI Local News 8
  • Construction crews are on the final stages of construction for Idaho State University’s new alumni center. The $11.5 million, two-decade project is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2023 with an opening next February. Source: KIFI Local News 8
  • Idaho State University added a new high-performance computing system (nicknamed “Ragnarok”) at its Research Data Center. The system has expanded graphics processing power, making it well-suited to research in the applied sciences ranging from image to LIDAR processing. Source: KIFI Local News 8
  • More than 600 students gathered at Idaho State University for the Idaho Commission of Hispanic Affair’s Hispanic Youth Leadership Summit, the second year it has been hosted at ISU. Source: KIFI Local News 8
  • Idaho State University saw a slight increase in both enrollment and student retention for the fall 2022 semester. Fall enrollment increased 1.3% year-over-year, with undergraduate enrollment increasing by 2%, or 195 students. The fall-to-fall retention rate of the first-time full-time bachelor’s degree-seeking cohort from fall 2021 was 70%, a 3% increase from the prior cohort. Source: Idaho State Journal

Bannock County

  • Pocatello Electric began a several week-long celebration of its 120th anniversary in business with weekly gift giveaways and a grand celebration party set for Dec. 15. The business is one of the oldest appliance stores in the country still in business. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The Pocatello-Chubbuck School District 25 Board of Trustees unanimously approved a plan to purchase the Downard Funeral Home adjacent to Pocatello High School for $500,000. The district hopes to convert the property to a parking lot to accommodate additional student drivers. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The Red Rabbit Grill in Rexburg opened another location in Pocatello at the site of the former Bamboo Garden on Yellowstone Avenue. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Portneuf Health opened its doors to patients at its Northgate Medical Office Building on the northeast side of Pocatello. The offices will provide primary care alongside an on-site lab and imaging services. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Pocatello-Chubbuck School District 25 reduced its tax levy request by $2.4 million amidst $30 million in reserves. This entails foregoing the annual 5% increase for the school plant facilities, reducing the second year of a two-year supplemental tax levy request by $2 million, and passing a motion to maintain the tort levy at the fixed value of $229,370. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The Future Boys & Girls Club of Portneuf Valley held a ribbon cutting to celebrate its grand opening of the facility at Syringa Elementary School in Pocatello. The club was made possible through a fundraising campaign that brought in $400,000 and a generous matching of an anonymous donor. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Schnauzer Judo Club, a martial arts studio in Pocatello, announced plans to locate to a larger space to accommodate additional students. The new location will be shared with a Brazilian jiu-jitsu club and a wrestling club. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • NeighborWorks Pocatello announced plans to break ground on Park Meadows, a 49-unit apartment complex for low-income senior citizens located on South Fifth Street in Pocatello. Apartment units are not set to open until the end of 2023. The project was made possible in part through a Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • A Pocatello-based development firm and a Pocatello construction company are partnering to build houses near Connor Academy in Chubbuck. Four floor plans will be offered with starting prices ranging from $359,000 to $410,000. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Pocatello-Chubbuck School District 25 has expressed interest in purchasing the 80,000-square-foot former Allstate call center in Chubbuck to use as a technical education school for several of its programs such as welding, health professions, law enforcement, cybersecurity and culinary arts. Source: Idaho State Journal

Power County

  • Plans are in place to build several fourplexes across from Lee Street Park in American Falls. In the two-phase project plan, three of the fourplexes will be completed by March 2023, with remaining units being completed in the subsequent months. Source: Idaho State Journal, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4249

EASTERN IDAHO – Bonneville, Butte, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison & Teton counties

Region News

Table: Eastern Idaho Labor Force Data September 2022

  • There were an estimated 1,314 job postings in eastern Idaho in September 2022, according to data from Help Wanted Online, a decrease from 1,376 the prior month and 1,686 the prior year. The top five of in-demand occupations were sales and related followed by transportation and material moving. Health care practitioners tops the list of all posted occupations, while other occupations on the other half of the list varied among management, office and administrative, arts, design, entertainment, sports and media.

Table: Eastern Idaho Top 10 Occupations by job postings September 2022

  • Health care and social assistance remains at the top of the list of industries with active job postings for the past two months in the eastern region, followed by public administration and retail trades, respectively. Transportation, warehousing and manufacturing round out the top half of active job postings. Educational services — on the top-industries list last month — had many jobs filled with schools resuming, resulting in fewer job postings. Occupational increases in accommodation and food service were reported in September. According to this indicator, transportation and warehousing demand doubled, whereas construction demand dropped by two-thirds month over month, possibly attributed to transitional seasonality.

Table: Eastern Idaho Top 10 Industries by job postings September 2022


  • Help Wanted Online data from The Conference Board indicates the hardest-to-fill jobs for eastern Idaho — in terms of time jobs have been listed and waiting to be filled — varied across occupational families. By and large, the occupations highlighted in the following table have been listed for approximately two months, including transportation and computer occupations, which have multiple listings. From this source, the top job demand challenges in September were reportedly filling installation, maintenance and repair trade vacancies.

Table: Eastern Idaho Top 10 hardest to fill jobs September 2022

  • Visitations to Yellowstone Park so far this year are 32% lower than the same time period last year. Record flooding in June damaged roads on the north end of Yellowstone, hindering road access between the park interior and a few towns. Although 95% of the roads re-opened, the north entrance is closed to visitor vehicles as of late October. Many roads close from early November to late April. Updated information is available by calling (307) 344-2117. Source: Post Register and Yellowstone National Park website.
  • Idaho’s largest wildfire of 2022 is now 80% contained. The Moose Fire has burned more than 200 square miles since July 17. On Sept. 26 investigators determined the specific cause of the fire was a campfire left smoldering in mid-July in a camping area within Lemhi County’s Salmon-Challis National Forest. Fire activity continues to be minimal, but the estimated size remains at 130,111 acres, which is more than double the combined area of the Boise and Garden City limits. The national forest closure was lifted on Oct. 14. Source: KTVB
  • Three major call centers in Idaho Falls and Rexburg reported downsizing and restructuring, resulting in at least 25 total layoffs. Source: Idaho Dept. of Labor, UI-Benefits
  • One of the largest potato processing plants continued downsizing and restructuring due to automation of the lines and lack of personnel to fill positions. Source: Idaho Dept. of Labor, UI-Benefits
  • A 66,000-square-foot Idaho Falls meat packing plant that opened earlier this year is hiring 125 additional people for multiple positions. At capacity, the company is looking to expand to 200 employees. The facility serves the needs of ranchers, small-scale meat marketers and feedlot operators in the region. Source: Idaho Dept. of Labor
  • Despite the general concern of this year’s drought for farmers in eastern Idaho and their potato crop, the quality and harvest are going better than expected. The quality this year is reportedly much better relative to last year. However, according to Idaho Extension Horticulture of Bonneville County, yields are down slightly due to the cooler spring season. A yield is the number of 100-pound sacks of potatoes harvesters gather per acre. Source: KIFI
  • The Idaho National Laboratory released a September report that in nearby Kemmerer, Wyoming, a potential coal-to-nuclear (C2N) transition may occur by 2028. The study team found regional economic activity could increase by as much as $275 million and add 650 new, permanent jobs. An advanced nuclear reactor is slated at the site of a recently retired coal power plant. This would be the first pilot site to repurpose the infrastructure from one of its coal-fired power plants to an advanced nuclear reactor as a lower emissions energy source. Its developer, TerraPower, plans to build it on the site of Rocky Mountain Power’s Naughton Power Plant. Source:, Sept 2022 report release and Casper Star Tribune 

Bonneville County

  • The College of Eastern Idaho opened its new Eastern Idaho Workforce Training Center located at the former Bonneville County Technology Center. The 32,000-square-feet complex is situated on 8.5 acres. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Kroger and Albertsons companies announced they have entered into a definitive agreement to merge the two companies through Kroger’s $24.6 billion acquisition. Several Idaho cities, including Idaho Falls, have both a Fred Meyer – owned by Kroger – and an Albertsons. With the acquisition announcement Kroger said it would divest up to 375 stores to a spin-off company. The company could end up selling those stores in places where there’s overlap with Albertsons, including Idaho Falls. Kroger currently has about 9.9% of the U.S. grocery market share; Albertsons’ share is 5.7%. Recent October data from shows Albertsons has been outperforming Kroger in terms of visit numbers. Visits to Albertsons locations were up 2.9% since 2019, while they were down 6.7% at Kroger stores. Source:
  • The Idaho Falls City Council adopted the Impact Fee Study and Capital Improvement Plan as well as an ordinance authorizing the implementation of development impact fees. The program provides an equitable means of creating infrastructure to accommodate new growth, and with it, the need for improvements in parks, transportation and public safety (police, fire and emergency medical services). Through the planning process, citizens of Idaho Falls have voiced their concern to city officials of the critical infrastructure expansion needed to accommodate growth. The plan mandates those who benefit from new growth and development pay a proportionate share of the cost of the new public facilities needed to serve that new growth through impact fees assessed at the building permit stage, rather than new growth being subsidized by existing taxpayers. Source:
  • The new Mountain America Center, the largest entertainment venue of its kind in the area, is currently hiring 300+ new employees needed to meet operational needs. After years in planning, locals will be able to attend the opening week events for the center in November. The facility in Idaho Falls will offer space for concerts, community events, local athletics, high school graduation ceremonies, RV shows, corporate meetings, ice skating shows, career fairs and professional development fairs. The center will also host the Idaho Falls Spud Kings, a U.S. Premier Hockey League Junior A ice hockey franchise. The venue will include 27,000 square feet of arena space in the Hero Arena, as well as 11,000 square feet of meeting space in the Blue Cross of Idaho Conference Center that will hold 6,000 guests. Ball Ventures/Snake River Landing donated a 22-acre parcel within Snake River Landing for the event center in 2018. Ball Ventures is an Idaho Falls-based real estate investment and development company. Source: Post Register and Idaho Dept of Labor
  • An intermediate-sized personal care products establishment in Idaho Falls reportedly laid off 20 employees, including high-level management, after being sold to a California firm. Source: Idaho Dept of Labor, UI-Benefits
  • Idaho Falls Fire Department was awarded a $2.95 million Federal Emergency Management Agency grant to hire 12 more firefighters. The mayor indicated it would save property owners from bearing the tax burden for expansion. Bonneville County Protection District fire station was recently purchased. It will open in 2023 due to the population growth and addition of new schools. Source: Post Register
  • Greater Idaho Falls Transit (GIFT) On-Demand is a new point-to-point public transportation service for anywhere inside Idaho Falls city limits. Currently on a three-year transportation grant, GIFT replaced the Targhee Regional Public Transportation Authority (TRPTA) public transit system in Idaho Falls with low-fare, on-call transportation at flexible hours. Idaho Falls previously had no public transportation service since TRPTA closed its doors mid-2019. Per a 2020 report by the American Public Transportation Association, investing in public transit yields a 5:1 economic return on investment. Source: City of Idaho Falls news release
  • Many businesses in Idaho Falls are trying to recruit for open positions and make themselves more appealing with more competitive benefits or signing bonuses. Source: Local News 8
  • Month-over-month housing inventory in Bonneville County has seen a modest 4% decrease in active home listings. Median listing prices are holding steady with virtually no change. However, the number of homes in inventory that have reduced their listing prices has increased 7%. New construction is still going strong in the area, including large apartment complexes. Source: and
  • Issuance of building permits in some parts of Bonneville (and Bingham) counties were temporarily halted due to a moratorium placed on new sewer connections of the Eastern Idaho Regional Waste Water Authority. Source: East Idaho News

Custer County

  • Custer Economic Development and Challis Event Center are sponsoring a large career fair for the community and students Oct. 31. Source: Challis Messenger

Teton County

  • The largest private employer in Teton County — Broulim’s grocery chain in Driggs — is bussing employees from the Rexburg area in its own shuttle for reliability purposes due to a staffing shortage in Teton County. Source: Idaho Dept of Labor

Madison County

  • Gator Jack’s, a well-known restaurant in Rexburg, went out of business, leading to the layoff of 16 employees. Source: East Idaho News

Lemhi County

  • A cobalt mining ribbon cutting took place on Oct. 7 near Salmon. The project is expected to create about 150 to 200 jobs in the Salmon-Challis area. The United States’ largest-to-date cobalt mining operation will officially launch at a remote site in the Salmon-Challis National Forest. It is owned by Jervois Global, an Australian mining and exploration company. At full production, the mine operation should produce approximately 16,890 tons of cobalt over an eight-year lifespan. This amount is potentially enough to power between 1.1 and 7 million electric vehicles. The supply chain is intended to be sustainably sourced domestic cobalt independent of China, Russia and Africa. The nearly 200-acre Idaho Cobalt Operations campus is built on a plateau three miles east of the Frank-Church Wilderness. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
  • Gold mine drilling of two rigs has resumed near Salmon after the major Moose Fire forced operations to cease. The fire, which has since been nearly contained, passed through mining land, but no people, buildings or equipment were harmed. Source: Challis Messenger

Butte County

  • Among all 44 counties in Idaho, only Butte County reported an average weekly wage above the national average of $1,374 for September, at $1,830. The county is home to the Idaho National Laboratory, Department of Energy employers. Source: BLS News Release, U.S. Dept. of Labor
  • Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has expanded its research into 5G security and in September opened the nation’s first open-air, security-focused 5G wireless test range. INL’s range will test methods to improve the confidentiality, integrity and security of 5G networks. The natural geography surrounding INL makes it an ideal location for a real-world test of new communication networks. It is located across the U.S. Department of Energy’s 890-square-mile campus. Source: LocalNews8, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 557-2500 ext. 3628

This Idaho Department of Labor project is 100% funded by USDOL as part of $695,785 in Workforce Information Grant funds from the Employment and Training Administration.