New short-term employment projections from the Idaho Department of Labor show Idaho’s healthy rate of job creation is expected to continue over the next two years. Total employment in Idaho — including self-employed and family businesses — reached a new high of 854,474 in the base period in 2022. This is projected to grow by 1.4% annually, reaching 878,100 in 2024.
The robustness and consistency of Idaho’s labor market has been a shining light in past years, with the state consistently leading the country in job growth. In 2020, COVID-19 led to significant job losses in a very short period of time — with almost all job losses occurring in March and April, but Idaho demonstrated its economic vitality with a quick rebound, returning to rapid job growth the following year. In fact, job growth in Idaho has been so strong that, even with the setback in 2020 during the pandemic, total employment in 2022 still reached and even exceeded forecasts.
Figure 1: Total employment in Idaho 2016-2022, with Idaho Labor 2024 projection
Winter weather is well underway in Idaho, bringing long-anticipated seasonal recreation to residents as well as many people across the U.S. who come to Idaho to experience the state’s top-tier ski resorts.
But despite high traffic and the boon to the surrounding economy, Idaho’s biggest winter recreation destinations face housing challenges for workers, especially those in the service sector.
Idaho ski resorts visits and staffing
Schweitzer Mountain above Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho
Nearly half (47.5%) of Idaho ski area visitors came from out of state in the winter of 2020-21 according to a report commissioned by Ski Idaho . The report highlighted Idaho ski resorts as a regional point of pride that attracts visitors from all over the United States, giving this industry an increased customer base.
For the first time, three of Idaho’s ski resorts were listed in SKI Magazine’s 2023 top 30 ski resorts in the West — Sun Valley at No. 1 (third year in a row), Schweitzer at No. 11 and Grand Targhee at No. 24 . Although officially located in Wyoming, many visitors to Grand Targhee stay, dine and shop on the Idaho side of Teton Valley.
The Idaho Department of Labor has a new mobile location to further support residents in Owyhee County. The Homedale mobile location is open every Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. at the Gypsy Jackson Memorial Library. A workforce consultant will be on site.
Services from a workforce consultant include support in looking for a new job, such as writing resumes, filling out job applications and preparing for a job interview. All mobile locations help job seekers access training resources.
The Idaho Department of Lands purchased 18,050 acres of timberland spread around the five northern Idaho counties. The land, acquired for $50.4 million, will support state endowment beneficiaries, especially Idaho’s public schools, and boost long-term timber sales. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Great Homes of Idaho is now operating in Post Falls. A builder of manufactured and modular homes, Great Homes started in Missoula and has now expanded to northern Idaho. This new supply of affordable housing is greatly desirable, with Kootenai County experiencing serious shortages of workforce housing. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The Coeur d’Alene Airport is evaluating adding a commercial terminal. The current proposal would permit Avports, an airport operations management firm based in Virginia, to construct a new terminal, which would service commercial flights connecting northern Idaho to regional locations like Boise and Seattle. A measure is currently before the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners which would approve a 25-year lease for the project. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The Hayden City Council denied a zoning amendment which would have allowed for a new subdivision to be built on the arterial Ramsey and Hayden intersection. Council members cited serious traffic concerns. The city’s capital improvement plan has already identified the intersection as a priority for improvement. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Baby boomers are typically hard-working individuals, resourceful, experienced and they value relationships, according to research from Indeed.com. These and other characteristics make them ideal for volunteer opportunities.
This age group, generally classified as ages 59-77, are often retired and looking to volunteer at organizations where they can make an impact and use their skills. To broaden an organization’s scope of skills consider recruiting older volunteers (55 and older) who are experienced, highly responsible and will commit long-term to an organization. In order to attract this demographic, there are some key factors the organization can focus on to recruit and retain these volunteers.
When recruiting baby boomers emphasize the organizations’ values and impact on the community. To do so, consider the best way to reach volunteers who are 55 and older.
For non-profits in an area with limited internet access consider advertising. Look to the local newspaper or a free ads paper, like the Penny Saver. To get the word out, consider hosting a get-to-know the organization session or ask to share information volunteer opportunities with the local senior center or church.
Idaho’s continued low unemployment rate is one of many aspects of the state’s economy presented to the Idaho Legislature’s Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment Committee Jan.5, 2023. Labor’s presentation covered the outlook for the state’s labor participation rate, its ongoing need for more workers, expected growth and decline in specific industries, population, housing issues impacting the economy and more.
Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.9% in December, edging down from 3% in November.
December’s labor force – workers who are employed or unemployed but looking for work – increased by 587 people (0.1%) to 963,957, the smallest increase since the previous December’s decline of 100 (-0.01%).
With the labor force growing at a slower pace than the civilian population, Idaho’s labor force participation decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 62.4%.
For Immediate Release: Jan. 19, 2023 Media Contact: Pam.Rogers@labor.idaho.gov
Idahoans out of work through no fault of their own can get help filing for unemployment insurance through Idaho Department of Labor staff in local and mobile office locations throughout the state.
Labor staff, known as unemployment insurance navigators, are available by appointment or through walk-in consultations during certain hours. Those in need of assistance can find hours and phone numbers for their nearest office at labor.idaho.gov/officedirectory.
Monday, Jan. 16, marks a national day of service when Americans are encouraged to volunteer for projects in their communities. To honor and celebrate Martin Luther King Jr./Idaho Human Rights Day, Serve Idaho AmeriCorps members are planning to volunteer around the community in many ways.
Idaho students will be able to take the updated 8th Grade Career Explorations course containing a brand-new apprenticeship lesson starting this spring.
The Idaho Digital Learning Alliance and the Idaho Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship Idaho team have created a new online lesson to meet the needs of the state’s students, businesses and industry sectors. The new class is the first collaboration of its kind between government, businesses and educators in promoting the occupational success of Idaho’s youth.