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
- Labor demand in northern Idaho remains robust, with elevated levels of unfilled jobs. There were 2,674 job postings in northern Idaho in April 2023, according to data from the Conference Board — 2,342 in Kootenai County. The most in-demand occupation was registered nurses, followed by a variety of high-turnover and common service sector positions.
- Post Falls-based Prairie Falls Golf Club began construction on a new 43,000-square-foot facility that will be the new home of the club’s pro shop, a hotel, event center, retail and restaurant facilities. The new facility is scheduled to open in July, and the golf club will be hiring 40 additional employees. Source: Journal of Business
- Beacon Cancer Care is expanding its services with the addition of a new rheumatology practice in its Coeur d’Alene Chinook Medical Campus. Source: Journal of Business
- A new urban development is being built in Post Falls. The 32-acre Millworx development will feature 685 residential units in addition to over 100,000 square feet of commercial space. The project has expanded significantly after it was originally envisioned as a 120-unit development in 2022. The development will also include a Hyatt Place Hotel and a variety of retail and restaurant establishments. Source: Journal of Business
Construction of a new 18-story high rise condominium in downtown Coeur d’Alene is underway. Named the Thomas George Building, the building will be home to 60 luxury condominiums and offer views of Lake Coeur d’Alene. Source: Journal of Business
- The Idaho Transportation Department has begun its first full season of construction on the planned four-year revision of the critical interchange between Interstate 90 and State Route 41. After preparatory work began in August of last year, the crews in the 2023 season will focus on building three new bridges for westbound I-90. The project is scheduled to be completed by summer Source: Journal of Business
- Beau Monde Luxe, Hayden
- Fire Artisan Pizza, Coeur d’Alene
- Konala Hawaiian Restaurant, Post Falls
- North Idaho Medical Massage, Coeur d’Alene
- Parallel 47 Restaurant, Coeur d’Alene
- Pinnacle Estate Planning, Coeur d’Alene
- Post Falls Pavilion Food Trucks, Post Falls
- Quality Stoves and Spa, Post Falls
- ReMAX Realty, Coeur d’Alene
- Rude Law, Coeur d’Alene
Sam.Wolkenhauer@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451
NORTH CENTRAL IDAHO – Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis and Nez Perce counties
- During 2022, north central Idaho added more than 900 jobs (+2%) and 200 new covered employer accounts (+6%) over the year.
Top three industry super sectors by employment growth: 1) manufacturing +300 2) education/health +220 3) construction +140
Top three industry super sectors by establishment growth: 1) professional and business services +50 2) construction +40 3) education/health +30
- North central Idaho will receive $9.1 million from the USDA’s Secure Rural Schools annual funding program. The region can distribute 30% of the funds to schools while 70% of the funds will be used for roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects. Overall, the state received $26.9 million from the program, which is distributed throughout the state. Funding in north central Idaho, the distribution by county is Idaho County $7.4 million, Clearwater $1.4 million, Latah $188,000 and Nez Perce $3,000. Source: U.S. Forest Service
- Lewiston has started a three-month process of replacing a water main along Main Street as the first phase of upgrading downtown’s water infrastructure. Source: Lewiston Tribune
- American Jazz, to be launched this season, is the sixth cruise boat for American Cruise Lines. The company offers one-week river cruises from Astoria, Oregon, to Clarkston, Washington. The 345-foot long vessel can hold up to 180 passengers plus staff. In the 2023 season, 24,000 cruise ship passengers are expected to visit the Lewis-Clark Valley. Source: Lewiston Tribune
- The Lewiston Center Mall sold at auction for $4 million in April 2023. As part of the sale documents, it was disclosed that Planet Fitness has signed a minimum 11-year lease as a new anchor tenant and may add more than 10 local jobs. Planet Fitness currently has seven locations throughout Idaho — Coeur d’Alene, two in Boise, Nampa, Twin Falls, Pocatello and Idaho Falls. Source: Lewiston Tribune, RI Marketplace
- Construction of Grangeville’s new 150,000 gallon city water tank began in April 2023 and is expected to be completed in late fall of 2023. The $1.4 million water tank project is part of a larger $5.4 million in spending for upcoming city water projects, including $3.4 million to repair and upgrade the city sewer system. Source: Idaho County Free Press
- Youth Dynamics Adventures youth center is scheduled to open in Riggins in May 2023. The center will operate on Fridays and Saturdays for middle school and high school age teens. Youth Dynamics currently operates in Idaho, Washington and Oregon. Source: Idaho County Free Press
- Palouse Habitat for Humanity hired Sprenger Construction to renovate its surplus store into a larger, single space with double the square footage. Construction will begin in April and is expected to be complete by the end of 2023. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
- Moscow has been designated a Purple Heart City to honor U.S. service members wounded in combat. Currently 30 cities, two counties and a handful of entities in Idaho are part of the national Purple Heart Trail. Source: Lewiston Tribune, Military Order of the Purple Heart
- Township Development is planning to build a new subdivision off Independence Road with nine single-family starter homes. Source: Clearwater Tribune
- The city of Winchester was awarded a $4.3 million construction grant from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to provide wastewater treatment and upgrade the collection system. Source: Idaho County Free Press
- The city of Craigmont received a $1.8 million, 30-year wastewater construction loan to upgrade and improve its wastewater infrastructure. Source: Daily Fly
- Mattress Firm recently opened in the Palouse Mall in Moscow. Source: Lewiston Tribune
- Carisa’s Cake Company plans to open in Kooskia in summer of 2023. Source: Carisa’s Cake Company
- North Central Idaho Properties has opened a new realtor office in Orofino in addition to its Kendrick location. Source: North Central Idaho Properties
- Threads Northwest in Kamiah has closed. Source: Kamiah Chamber of Commerce
- Cottonwood Foods was acquired by Cloninger’s Marketplace. Cloninger’s operates grocery stores in Kamiah, Kooskia and Grangeville as well as an Ace Hardware store in Kamiah. Source: Cottonwood Chronicle, Cloninger’s Inc.
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
- Across the board, utility companies are requesting rate increases. Electricity, natural gas and water services across southern Idaho are simultaneously petitioning the Public Utilities Commission for sizeable rate increases. Low utility rates have been one of the attractions of living in Idaho, historically touting one of the least expensive electricity rates nationally. According to U.S. Energy Information Administration, Idaho ranked fifth-lowest nationally, with an average retail price to the residential sector of $10.58 per kilowatt in January 2023.
- Earlier this year, Intermountain Gas (ICG) applied a PUC-approved rate hike of 16.6% to residential users and 17.9% to commercial customers. IGC has requested another increase 4.4% for residential customers and 1.5% for commercial customers, to recoup some infrastructure investment.
- Veolia, a French water company that acquired Suez Water several years ago, requested a 24.1% rate hike. Source: Public Utilities Commission, Idaho Press
- Idaho Power filed a rate hike request with the PUC citing escalated costs associated with natural gas market rates, the source of power for some of Idaho Power’s generators. The impact to the average power consumer would be $12 monthly or a total of $200 million. Comments from the public will be required before a PUC decision. Source: KVMT News
- Monthly building permits for housing are shown in Charts 1 and 2, filtered for dates starting with the pandemic and ending February 2023 for the largest population hubs in southwestern Idaho. The U.S. Census Bureau gathers information on both single-family home and multi-family permits through a survey. These two southwestern Idaho urban counties exhibit single-family housing permit trends that are similar and highlight the downturn that hit most areas in conjunction with interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. The most current month available is February 2023 and shows Ada County trending down while Canyon County is still headed upward. Latest speculations regarding future rate adjustments by the Federal Reserve indicate the increases are slowing down with perhaps just one more rate increase in 2023, moving up only a quarter of a point.
Chart 1: Single-family housing permits
Rural counties are increasingly interested in developing varied types of housing to accommodate growth in different demographics. For example, Middleton, with a population of around 10,000, has passed new zoning regulations that allow for a variety of home types such as estate homes, townhomes over 50 subdivisions, regular single-family homes and multi-family homes. The different types of households and income levels needing housing – in turn – create a demand to integrate jobs, recreation and shopping into mixed use developments.
Chart 2: Multi-family housing permits
Rural counties are increasingly aware of the affordable housing needs to support workers with jobs in the community at restaurants, hotels, hospitals and retail, for example. Local government officials wrestle with the demands of land use for agriculture versus housing. Counties relying more on tourism face land use for second homes versus workforce housing.
The counties shown in Chart 3 responded to needs of less affluent or younger people by approving some multi-family housing during the period starting with the pandemic through the most recent release of the survey or February 2023. Permits for single family building were relatively robust in much of these rural counties compared with multi-family permits.
Chart 3: Rural counties building permits
March home sale reports from Intermountain Multiple Listing Service indicate sales declined in the urban areas of Ada and Canyon counties and only a handful of the rural counties in southwestern Idaho are experiencing an uptick. New houses are typically lingering on the market longer than existing homes. Adams County reported the longest days on market at 218. Owyhee was the only county that moved its handful of new homes faster than its existing inventory in March. The less-populated areas are more volatile. Inventories are still lower than pre-pandemic levels. However, more inventory is expected as schools wrap up the academic year and families are more likely to move.
Table 1: March home sales report for Ada County, March 2023
- Eagle City Council approved annexation of Avimor, a planned development community with more than 8,700 homes. The deal brings 25 acres of hiking trails and 20 acres of future commercial and retail building under control of the city of Eagle. Source: Idaho Statesman
- Boise Mayor Lauren McLean selected two new council members to serve out two vacancies. All six city council seats are up for election in November. Source: Idaho Statesman
- The city of Boise released its zoning code rewrite to the public. Three public hearings took place in late April with the Planning and Zoning commissioners and city staff. The commission will make a recommendation to the Boise City Council for a final decision, though there is no date set. Source: Idaho Press
- The Bureau of Reclamation is releasing water into the Boise River and the canal system in Lucky Peak and Arrow Rock reservoirs as both are 100% or more of normal capacity due to rapidly thawing snowpack and spring precipitation. Water flow on the Boise River at the Glenwood Bridge was recorded at 5,930 cubic feet per second as of April 27, which is about 185% normal flow rate. Sections of the Greenbelt are flooded. Source: KTVB
- Agricultural producers of all crops are finding it difficult to access fields to plant due to muddy or frozen conditions. The warming of the soil is slowing planting, particularly for potatoes and sugar beets. The snowpack has not melted yet with the occasional spring snowstorm adding to the accumulation in the mountains. The high river flows are expected well into May and heavier flows could continue into July, depending on temperatures. Source: KTVB News, Capital Press, and www.snoflo.org
- The Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge will receive $1 million annually to continue developing its programs that increase equitable access to the open spaces, nature and outdoor experiences for community members of color and other underserved populations. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland was on hand, along with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams and Peques Nature Club Co-Founder America Yorita-Carrion to celebrate its continued collaboration. Source: Idaho Press
- Grand View’s shuttered museum has been purchased and reopened under the name Lawson’s Legacy Pioneer Town and Historical Museum in honor of the museum founder, Jack Lawson who died in October 2021. The season for self-guided tours is March through November. The museum offers an array of artifacts representing pioneer life in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Native American relics and equipment used in farming and mining operations. Source: The Owyhee Avalanche
- Grand View received close to $4 million in grant funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to rehabilitate and repair a drinking water well and upgrade its wastewater system. The funding comes through the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. Projects must be completed by the end of 2026 with obligations in place by the end of 2024. Source: The Owyhee Avalanche
- Sockeye Alehouse opened its new restaurant and bar at the former site of 36th Street Garden Center and Bistro in Boise. Source: Idaho Statesman
- Italianesque Restaurant moved to a new location in Nampa. Source: Idaho Press
- The Packing Shed opened outside of Emmett, featuring antiques and refurbished furniture among its other retail offerings. Source: Emmett Messenger Index
- Idaho Central Credit Union opened another Treasure Valley branch, this one in south Boise. The building is 6,000 square feet with a separate building for drive-thru operations. Source: Idaho Business Review
- 1st Miracle is a newly rebranded restaurant and event center in Eagle. It was most recently home to The Flats 16. Source: Idaho Statesman
- Primary Health opened a new clinic in Nampa remodeling a former bank building. This is the third Primary Health clinic in Nampa and offers walk-in urgent care and work injury care while family medicine is offered by appointment only. There is an x-ray suite, a trauma room, a labor and procedure room and 16 exam rooms. Source: Idaho Press
- Texas de Brazil closed its doors at the Village in Meridian. The Dallas-based company has no plans to reopen in Boise. Source: Idaho Statesman
- Naked Fins closed its doors in Boise. The restaurant will reopen with a different concept after renovations are complete. The owners have declined to release details currently. Source: Idaho Statesman
- Interfaith Sanctuary hosted a groundbreaking event as it started renovating the former Salvation Army building in Boise with a conditional use permit. Several new services will be offered when completed, such as day access, activity areas, storage lockers for guests and medical services. The renovation is estimated to take 12 to 15 months and will add a second story for the family shelter component, moving the square footage from its existing 30,000 square feet to 42,500 square feet. Source: Idaho Business Review
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
- Hailey City Council has approved a five-unit teacher housing complex. The main building houses four two-story three-bedroom apartments each with a two-car garage. It also features a 650-square-foot studio apartment. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
- Sun Valley Resort is replacing the chairlifts on the Warm Springs side of Baldy Mountain to create a new ski-trail extension. The plan is to remove the Challenger detachable-quad chairlift and the nearby quad Grayhawk lift. The resort will then install a six-person, high-speed Challenger chairlift that will allow riders to unload at the top of the Upper Grayhawk area or to the mountain’s Lookout summit. The existing Challenger lift has a capacity of 1,800 people per hour. The proposed replacement would have a capacity of 2,400 passengers per hour. Additionally, the resort plans to open 54 acres of tree skiing in the Little Scorpion area. The resort plans to have this all completed by the 2023-2024 ski season. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
- Friedman Memorial Airport’s summer and fall flight schedules will offer daily nonstops offered through Alaska, Delta and United airlines to Denver, Los Angeles, Seattle, Salt Lake City and San Francisco. United has decided to run an additional Chicago flight on Saturdays and Sundays from June 24 to Sept. 3. The United flight to Los Angeles is also being extended by two weeks in the fall until Oct. 22. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
- The city of Twin Falls plans to donate an artificial skating rink and skates to Rupert. The Urban Renewal Agency bought the equipment to be used in Twin Falls, but a lack of demand for the equipment prompted the donation to Rupert. Source: KMVT
- Minidoka Memorial Hospital will be opening an outpatient imaging center, along with an orthopedic clinic next door at the Rivergate Crossing Plaza in Burley. These clinics will offer patients MRIs, CTs, DEXA scans (bone density scan), ultrasound, x-rays and mammograms by the beginning of next year. Source: Times News
Twin Falls County
- The Twin Falls Education Foundation will give over $40,000 to Twin Falls educators to help meet classroom needs. The funds are distributed through the foundation’s Cash for Classrooms program. Source: Times News
Seth.Harrington@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 735-2500 ext. 3062
SOUTHEASTERN IDAHO – Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida & Power counties
- Employment decreased by 237 people and unemployment increased by 135 people in the seven-county southeastern region in March, according to labor force estimates from the Idaho Department of Labor’s Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program. This resulted in a decrease in labor force participation of 302, seasonally adjusted. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 2.6%, compared with 2.5% the same time last year.
- There were 851 online job postings in southeastern Idaho in March according to data from the Conference Board, up from 724 the previous month and down from 1,070 in March 2022. The top 10 most common occupations by job posting included health care practitioners and support, sales and related, transportation and material moving, computer and mathematical, as well as food preparation and serving.
- 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; educational services; professional; scientific and technical services; as well as finance and insurance among others representing most open positions in the region. Manufacturing, though, came in at sixth and construction at eighth.
- Lightcast’s data from the Conference Board indicates the hardest-to-fill jobs remain concentrated in education, training and library occupations. Among the other occupations represented in the list are those in protective services and health care practitioners.
- The cold, moist winter and cooler spring have lifted most of southeastern Idaho out of a multiyear drought, with only western parts of Bingham, Caribou and Bear Lake counties classified as being abnormally dry. Snowpack in the Willow-Blackfoot-Portneuf basin was over 260% of its typical seasonal level, while the Bear River basin is almost 180% of normal for this time of year. Streamflow forecasts for the Snake River are above their typical volumes while for Willow Creek, Portneuf River and Bear River are significantly higher than normal. Source: U.S. Drought Monitor, Idaho NRCS Snow Survey, Idaho NRCS Water Supply Outlook
- Multiple heavy snowstorms blew through southeastern Idaho this season, including an early April storm that dumped approximately 20 inches of snowfall onto the Pocatello-Chubbuck area. Multiple businesses were adversely impacted, and multiple local school districts had to cancel classes. Source: Idaho State Journal, KIFI Local News 8
- Idaho State University reported a fourth straight semester of enrollment increases in spring 2023 with 10,601 reported students, a 3.1 percent increase year-over-year. This was driven entirely from undergraduate enrollments as graduate student enrollment fell slightly. Source: Idaho State University
- To address the shortage of mental health care providers in both states, Idaho State University (ISU) and the University of Utah have partnered to train psychiatry resident physicians. Residents will spend the majority of their first two years in Salt Lake City before rotating to Pocatello for years three and four. Funding for the initiative was provided by the Idaho State Legislature, Portneuf Medical Center, Health West, ISU and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Source: KIFI Local News 8
- Construction continues on the I-15/I-86 interchange — Flying Y — with the Chubbuck Road bridge now dismantled and work underway on the new Fort Hall interchange. Source: The Idaho Transportation Department
- Due to the cold and snow-filled early spring, Zoo Idaho was forced to delay its season opening. The zoo is currently open to the public on the weekends and will be open on weekdays beginning in May. Source: Idaho State Journal
Bear Lake County
- Record snowfall in Bear Lake County this season caused significant flooding and mudslides in the higher elevations. State Highway 36 was closed during part of April as a result. Source: KIFI Local News 8, The Preston Citizen
- Parts of Bingham County have experienced flooding from recent snowmelt and wetter weather. Local officials have been providing sandbags to residents. Flood alerts have been issued in parts of Bannock, Bear Lake, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida and Power counties as of April 25. Source: Idaho State Journal and National Weather Service, Hydrologic Outlook
- Local residents and school staff gathered for a groundbreaking of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes’ Early Childhood Program’s new gymnasium. The $3 million facility on Eagle Road will provide a space for student activities including sports and performing arts upon completion later this year. Source: Idaho State Journal
- The U.S. Bureau of Land Management gathered public input in April on a possible new limestone quarry in Firth. The plan for the quarry is to extract the stone in a 260-acre area over several stages. Source: KIFI Local News 8
- A Utah-based developer has approached the city of Soda Springs with plans for a proposed 354-unit townhouse development together with a 30-unit mobile home park and various local amenities in the north part of the city. Source: Caribou County Sun
- Amidst near-record snowfall this season and warming temperatures, parts of Franklin County, including Preston, have been experiencing significant flooding. Local officials had anticipated this as they have warned residents of the risks and distributed sandbags, with the city of Preston declaring a state of emergency. Source: The Preston Citizen
- West Side School District #202 has hired a Boise State University faculty member as a consultant to assist them with their ongoing search for a replacement superintendent. Heather Williams, Ph.D. of BSU met with school staff, local officials, students and concerned residents to discuss the district’s strengths and weaknesses. Source: The Preston Citizen
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented its preferred plan for continued cleanup efforts at the Kerr-McGee Superfund Site north of Soda Springs. The former vanadium processing facility closed in 1999 and has since been overseen by the EPA and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. The proposed five-year plan includes active on-site monitoring and water treatment with an estimated cost of $45 million over the next 50 years. Source: The Caribou County Sun
- Nonprofit developer NeighborWorks Pocatello held an open house for its newly constructed twin home in American Falls, the third and fourth units it has built in the community. Through a partnership with the city, the organization plans to develop 10 additional affordable homes over the next two years. Source: The Power County Press
- A Union Pacific freight train derailed in American Falls, causing 120 gallons of diesel fuel to spill and five refrigerated boxcars to leave the track. The site has since been cleaned up and rail lines have been repaired. Source: Idaho State Journal
- Grocery Bargain Outlet opened its new Pocatello store in April at the location of the former Bed Bath & Beyond on the city’s north side. Source: Idaho State Journal
- The new Human Bean coffee drive-thru opened for business in Chubbuck on Yellowstone Avenue. Source: Idaho State Journal
- Chubbuck-based Geraldine’s Bake Shoppe and Deli opened a second location near the Idaho State University campus in Pocatello. Source: Idaho State Journal
- Pocatello/Chubbuck-based food truck Wild Noodle BBQ has opened for business, fusing classic barbeque and noodle dishes. Source: Idaho State Journal
- Caribou Jack’s Trading Co. opened its new location in Historic Downtown Pocatello. The combination hardware and kitchenware store is the second in addition to their Soda Springs location. Source: Idaho State Journal
- A local couple is opening a shop for brick-building enthusiasts in Pocatello. Just Brick It will be located inside Wilson Plaza and is scheduled to open later this month. Source: Idaho State Journal
- A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the return of Preston’s Polar Bear drive-in 18 years after its closure. The new location will be across the street from Preston Junior High School. Source: The Preston Citizen
- Pocatello-based Tastee Treat closed its doors after 67 years of operation. They were known for their UFO-themed burgers. 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
- There were an estimated 1,115 job postings in eastern Idaho for March 2023, according to the Conference Board’s Help Wanted Online data indicator. This is an increase in postings from 966 (13%) the prior month and a decrease from 1,851 (-40%) the prior year. Managers overtook the lead from registered nurses of top occupations in the region with active job postings. Wholesale and manufacturing representatives and retail sales supervisors emerged in the top half of occupations in March. The high demand for retail salespersons, customer service representatives and tractor-trailer drivers carried over from last month. Electrical engineers, food prep/serving workers and farm work/crop laborers were no longer on the list. The driver/sales workers, light delivery drivers, retail sales supervisors and wholesale/manufacturing reps broke through as new in-demand occupations on the current list. Occupational job demand declined in March job postings for registered nurses only (-17%). Retail salespersons, tractor-trailer drivers and customer service reps saw negligible or no change in job posting demand, month-over-month. Occupations reporting increases in job posting demand included managers (55%), retail supervisors (43%) and freight/stock/material laborers (41%).
- Public administration overtook health care/social assistance in the top spot of industries in the eastern Idaho region with active job postings. Retail trade, professional/scientific/technical services and public administration remained in the top five rankings of active industry job postings. Each had more postings than the month prior. There was a surging increase in job postings for finance and insurance (46%); retail and trade (42%); accommodation and food service (23%); and public administration (26%). To a lesser degree was manufacturing (16%), health care and social assistance (11%), and professional, scientific and technical services (3%). Industry job postings in educational services decreased in demand (-13%). Transportation and warehousing emerged as a new in-demand job posting industry in March, replacing real estate and rental leasing.
- March data from the Conference Board indicates the hardest-to-fill job listings in eastern Idaho, in terms of time to fill, showed broad variation in occupations. Notable jobs which were both hardest to fill and had multiple job postings in March included tire repairers and changers as well as dentists and network/computer systems administrators. Segmental pavers, database administrators and pipelayers arose as the top hard-to-fill jobs. March job demand challenges by occupational family were construction/extraction and computer/mathematical vacancies. All of the hard-to-fill job postings reported in March – except tire repairers/changers and database administrators – were not previously on the top 10 list in February and emerged as new.
- The state approved $8 million for the College of Eastern Idaho’s Future Tech building project to open in fall 2025. It will serve about 1,000 students. Programs include cybersecurity, health physics and agritech. The overall project cost is $42.8 million funded by grants, donations, federal funding and state dollars. Source: Idaho Education News
- School bond and levy election results from the March 14 ballot include:
- Jefferson Joint School District 251: $75 million to build a new middle school and remodel Rigby Middle School passed; classroom additions to Farnsworth Middle School failed; $5 million bond for Roberts Elementary School new gymnasium; facility upgrades passed.
- Fremont County Joint School District 215: $59,980,000 to improve school facilities at Ashton Elementary, North Fremont High School and South Fremont High School failed.
- Idaho Falls School District 91: two-year, $13.6 million supplemental levy passed.
- Ririe: two-year, $580,000 supplemental levy passed.
- Sugar-Salem: two-year, $600,000 supplemental levy failed.
- Challis: two-year, $1.4 million supplemental levy passed
- West Jefferson: two-year, $720,000 supplemental levy passed.
- Butte County: two-year, $320,000 supplemental levy and two-year, $206,000 plant facilities levy passed.
- Clark County: two-year, $500,000 supplemental levy passed.
- Swan Valley: five-year, $375,000 plant facilities levy passed.
Source: East Idaho News; Idahoednews.org
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation District (NRCD) reported March snowpack ranged from near normal to well above normal across the state. Basins south of the Clearwater had the highest snowpack (SWE) percentages. Water supply conditions have turned around since last February with the very wet, cold March. All basins, apart from Upper Snake River water users, can expect sufficient water supply this irrigation season. The NRCD reported in February the Lost and Wood basins were among areas with the highest above-normal snowpack. The snow survey listed Lemhi County still among the driest places in Idaho. The Salmon River Basin was 76% of normal. Mackay Reservoir was 85% of normal. Sources: USDA; Challis Messenger
- Snake River Landing in Idaho Falls is adding a third medical office facility, Wright Physical Therapy, within the 450-acre mixed-use development. The therapy group has 16 clinics throughout Idaho- four in eastern Idaho. This new location will be the fifth in eastern Idaho. Source: East Idaho News
- Treasure Auto Group, a dealership specializing in after-market customizations, opened in Idaho Falls. Source: East Idaho News
- Balanced Health is a new chiropractic business which opened in Idaho Falls. Source: Post Register
- A new theater in Idaho Falls will provide year-round stage productions in eastern Idaho. Center Stage Theatre will open for its first live performance on May 11. Source: East Idaho News
- A team of Idaho National Laboratory scientists are collaborating with Mickelsen Farms, a large family-owned potato farm in Roberts, to develop software solutions that can support farms in drought conditions. Source: INL Communications
- Idaho Falls Fire Department welcomed its newest group of firefighters after they completed a 10-week training academy. The 15 new firefighters are the largest recruit academy ever for the fire department. New recruits were hired from the 2022 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant, which helps pay for the first three years of wages and benefits. With the newest additions, the department now has 138 full-time personnel operating out of six stations. Source: Post Register
- Funland is part of the Idaho Falls Parks and Recreation Department’s Tautphaus Park master plan. Polling and resident feedback showed a strong public desire to improve on and preserve the historical park restoration. An agreement is in place between the city and Amuse LLC to inspect and repair the park’s rides. The awarded amount came with an agreement to not exceed $97,240. The expenditure is coming from $150,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding allocated to what will become Funland at the Zoo. Source: Post Register
- A project to renovate the old Hotel Rogers in Idaho Falls is nearing completion in May as Airbnb and apartment space. The top floor has two 3,500-square-foot penthouse suites and 16 apartments occupy the second and third floors. Source: East Idaho News
- After four years of business, Blaze Pizza in Ammon closed its doors permanently on March 31. Source: East Idaho News
- Diversified Metal Products in Idaho Falls will permanently close its business at the end of April, affecting 17 employees. Source: Idaho Dept of Labor
- Forbes ranked Melaleuca on its
- The Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce announced ribbon cutting ceremonies for Pick Physical Therapy and Consolidated Supply Company. These establishments met one of the following criteria: either opened their doors within the past six months; moved to a new location due to expansion; or remodeled/expanded their current location. Source: Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce
- The Bonneville County median home listing price in March saw negligible change from February at $465,000 and a small decrease from March 2022 prices (-4%). The county reported a decrease in month-over-month active home listings (-8%), but a 214% increase year-over-year. Median days on the market decreased to 49 days (-22%). New listings were up from the month prior (36%). Listing prices for 84 homes in inventory were reduced month over month. Source: Realtor.com
- The county sold its former buildings to make room for a new county jail and sheriff’s office. Once the old structures are removed in May, construction can begin. Source: Challis Messenger
- For March, the Jefferson County median home listing price saw an increase to $545,000 (6%) from February and an increase from March 2022 (5%). The county also reported an increase in month-over-month active home listings (5%), while median days on the market decreased to 52 days (12%). New listings increased from the month prior (8%). There were 12 homes in inventory w reduced their listing prices in March. Source: Realtor.com
- In March, Jervois suspended final construction at its Idaho Cobalt Operations mine due to low cobalt prices and inflationary pressures, affecting approximately 250 laid-off workers. Source: Post Register
- In early April the Progrexion call center company in Rexburg closed permanently, affecting approximately 150 laid off employees. Source: Idaho Dept of Labor
- For March, the Madison County median home listing price saw an increase to $441,450 (3%), but a decrease from March 2022 prices (-15%). The county also reported an increase in month-over-month active home listings (10%). Median days on the market decreased to 61 days (-21%). New listings decreased from the month prior (-8%). There were again 12 homes in inventory with reduced listing prices in March. Source: Realtor.com
- The Idaho Workforce Development Council has awarded more than $1 million to the Teton Valley Collaborative. The grant will be used to establish a new child care facility in Driggs. Source: Post Register
- In March, the Teton County median home listing price saw negligible change from the previous month at $884,250 but was a steep decrease from March 2022 (-38%). The county also reported a decrease in month-over-month active home listings (-14%). Median days on the market still show an increase at 166 days (17%). New listings have increased from the month prior (25%). Six homes in inventory reduced their listing prices in March. Source: Realtor.com
Ryan.Whitesides@labor.idaho.gov, 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.