Around Idaho: Economic activity in October 2023

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


  • Labor demand in northern Idaho remains robust, with elevated levels of unfilled jobs. In total, there were 1,882 job postings in September 2023, according to data from the Conference Board. Of these jobs, 1,518 were posted in Kootenai County. The most in-demand occupation was registered nurses, followed by retail salespersons.

Top 10 occupations by job postings in northern Idaho, September 2023

Table: Top 10 occupations in norhtern Idaho September 2023

Kootenai County

  • The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is conducting a comprehensive study of transportation on the Rathdrum Prairie in northern Kootenai County. The area, which encompasses and links the municipalities of Post Falls, Rathdrum and Hayden, has seen immense population growth and construction in recent years which have stressed existing traffic corridors. The ITD study will evaluate stress points across the entire prairie and guide the future road improvement and construction agenda. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The city of Post Falls successfully closed the East Post Falls Urban Renewal District, which opened in 2002 and encompassed some 469 acres of land. In the 20 years the urban renewal district was open, the valuation of the district increased from $62 million to $690 million as a result of new construction, job creation and urban renewal projects. The district created a $1.5 million surplus, which will be distributed to the taxing authorities within the district, including municipal agencies and educational institutions. This is the seventh urban renewal district successfully completed and closed by the Post Falls Urban Renewal Commission. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Shoshone County

    • Bunker Hill Mining Corporation celebrated a groundbreaking for the reopening of the Bunker Hill Mine, which has been closed for more than 30 years. The company has full funding for engineering and construction work to reopen the mine, with production expected to start by the end of 2024. The intermediate production target is approximately 1,800 pounds of material — including silver, lead and zinc — per day, with a long-term capacity of 2,500 tons per day. The company expects the mine to create more than 250 skilled mining jobs. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

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

North-Central Idaho

  • The Idaho Commission for Libraries awarded $3.25 million in grants to 15 public libraries throughout Idaho through the Facilities Improvement Grant. The three local libraries that received funds include:
    • Clearwater County Free Library District in Weippe – $107,000 to improve winter parking access, install a generator, expand Wi-Fi access and create outdoor seating space with charging stations.
    • Elk River Free Library District – $43,000 for ADA-accessible walkways, an outdoor covered area and to address parking lot flooding/drainage concerns.
    • Prairie River Library District in Lapwai – $200,000 to repair/rebuild part of the building currently considered unsafe and unusable.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated six Idaho counties — Benewah, Clearwater, Kootenai, Latah, Lewis and Nez Perce — as primary natural disaster areas at the end of September due to ongoing drought. The disaster declaration makes emergency loans available to producers who have drought-related production losses. Source: USDA
  • Postsecondary fall 2023 enrollments were up 3% (300 students) for the University of Idaho and up .2% (six students) for Lewis-Clark State College compared with fall 2022 enrollments.

Nez Perce County

  • Vista Outdoor, the parent company of CCI/Speer, will sell its sporting goods ammunition brands to the Czechoslovak Group (CSG) for $1.9 billion. Vista’s sporting goods segment includes four operating facilities in Lewiston; Anoka, Minnesota; Lonoke, Arkansas; and Sweet Home, Oregon. The transaction includes the Lewiston facility, which employs over 1,000 people and accounts for almost one-third of total group employment. In 2022, CSG acquired 70% of Italy’s Fiocchi Munizioni, which produces ammunition in Ozark, Missouri, and Little Rock, Arkansas. The transaction is still subject to regulatory approval and is scheduled to close in 2024. Source: Vista Outdoor
  • Delta Airlines started a daily flight to Seattle from the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport in October, with 70-seat capacity. The flight departs Lewiston at 7 a.m. and departs Seattle at 7:45 p.m. for its return flight to Lewiston. Source: Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport
  • Joseph Regional Medical Center has opened its new 10-bed acute rehabilitation unit in partnership with Lifepoint Health to provide physical therapy to adults who have decreased function or a disability due to illness or injury. Source: Daily Fly
  • Lewiston High School is beginning construction of its new $10 million stadium with a seating capacity of 2,000. It will be home to football, track and field and soccer events. Construction of the stadium is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2024. The next phase is fundraising and construction for the baseball fields, softball fields and additional soccer facilities. Source: Lewiston Tribune

Latah County

    • Effective Oct. 1, rural Latah County waste collection has been transferred to Sunshine Disposal in Lewiston from Inland North Waste of Moscow. Inland North Waste continues to provide waste collection to the city of Moscow. Source: Inland North Waste
    • The University of Idaho’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Meat Science and Innovation Center. Construction of the 12,750-square-foot building is expected to be completed in the fall of 2025 and will replace the current facility, which is more than 60 years old. With the new facility, there will be additional teaching programs, research opportunities and the ability to meet additional workforce development needs. Source: KHQ
    • The Latah County Department of Motor Vehicles is now offering Idaho’s first drive-thru vehicle licensing service for transactions such as registration renewals, release of liability and disabled parking permits. Source: Latah County Assessor


  • Elevated Barber Co. opened in Lewiston.
  • Back in Balance Body and Beauty, offering massage and permanent makeup services, moved from Kooskia to Kamiah.
  • CMG Home Loans in Moscow.
  • Palouse Juice (natural smoothies) and So Chill Cryotherapy (nitrogen gas pain relief) are moving into a new space in Moscow’s Eastside Marketplace.
  • Mountain Made Esthetics in Grangeville.
  • Sunken Ship Sushi food truck has opened in Lewiston.


    • Marketime Drug closed in Moscow. The drugstore opened in 1952.
    • Thai Taste in Lewiston
    • Wilson’s Sandwich Company in Lewiston.
    • Arby’s on 8th Avenue in Lewiston is temporarily closed for an interior and exterior remodel., regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 799-5000, ext. 3849

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


Southwestern housing data comparison September 2023, September 2022

Table: Regional housing data comparison September 2023, September 2022

Housing – Intermountain Multiple Listing Service
  • Inventory in Canyon County is back to 2019 levels right around 850. Ada County is still below pre-pandemic levels at about 1,550 compared to 1,750.
  • Sales for September were half of pre-pandemic levels and almost the same as Canyon County with Ada at 580 and Canyon at 400. Typically, Canyon County is half. This is due to both price and inventory levels.
  • Median price fell in both Canyon and Ada counties by small amounts — down $5,000 in Ada and $9,000 in Canyon. Prices are still about 60% higher than in 2019.
  • Days on the Market are back to pre-pandemic levels of about a month.


Ada County

  • Owyhee High School’s career technical education class is building tiny homes for veterans – starting with two this year. Source: Idaho Education News
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul-based Sun Country Airlines is starting commercial airline service to the Boise Airport. It will fly direct to Minneapolis for service to other domestic and international destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. Next year it will start service from Minneapolis to Canada, including Montreal and Toronto. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • The National Center for Employee Ownership ranked Winco the second largest employee stock ownership plan company with 22,000 employee-owners. Scheels Sporting Goods, which has a location under construction in Meridian, ranked 10th on the list with over 10,000 employees. It is headquartered in Fargo, North Dakota. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Eagle Regional Sports Complex broke ground on a 98-acre park. The first phase consists of 15 acres with four baseball or softball fields, tennis and pickleball courts, five grass flex fields for soccer, football or lacrosse, playground equipment and a trailhead for bikes and hiking. Source: Idaho News 6
  • Two thousand units of new affordable housing will be built on five acres on the southeastern side of Whitewater Park Boulevard in Boise. Houses and townhouses will fill the western portion. This will be a walkable community with services and shopping opportunities. Hawkins Companies, The Pacific Companies and Utah-based FJ Management are in partnership contributing to the $51.75 million price tag for the 44 acres. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded $8.1 million to the Meridian Fire Department for critically needed staffing. The city of Meridian’s population grew by 4,000 people in 2022, at a rate of 3.2%. The SAFER grant will impact Meridian by adding 24 new firefighters over three years and integrating another person towards manning each fire engine, moving the team from three to four. There were $300 million in SAFER grants awarded across the nation in 2023. Source: Boise State Public Radio

Boise County

  • The Idaho Transportation Department is spending $4 million to install a traffic signal at the State Highway 55 and Banks Lowman Road intersection. Over the past 10 years, traffic has increased by 50%, with 14,000 average daily vehicle traffic counts counted last July. The cost will cover the design work and installation costs. The initial traffic signal is scheduled to be installed in 2024. Other costs such as widening lanes, adding a turn lane and possibly an acceleration lane could add up to an additional $40 million or $50 million but this part of the project has not yet been approved. Source: Boise State Public Radio

Canyon County

  • The College of Western Idaho is partnering with Idaho Power and Power Engineers to introduce students to careers in energy. An event at the oldest hydroelectric generating site on the Snake River — Swan Falls in Kuna — kicked off the cooperative efforts. The event included a behind-the-scenes tour of the plant, and tips on writing resumes and interviewing for potential job seekers. The two companies have donated $6,000 for virtual reality headsets and drones, allowing for hands-on experience with technology. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Amalgamated Sugar in Nampa announced a $13.5 million investment in an anaerobic digester that should be at full capacity by next May. The timing is important as residual water left in the lagoons will start heating up. The digester treats water before it’s sent to the wastewater treatment center by removing the methane and sulfur. It then gets burnt into a flare. The historic odor emitted from the factory should be reduced and noticeable by even the casual driver on the interstate. Eventually, instead, the gases could generate electricity for the plant instead of burning up in the flare. Source: Idaho Press
  • After serving more than 570 people, the Ukrainian Welcome Center is moving from the Lighthouse Rescue Mission building to a smaller location near the Garrity exit on I-84. The Boise Rescue Mission Board anticipates the Lighthouse building may be used to provide services to elderly homeless people. Source: KTVB News

Elmore County

  • Falcon’s Landing, a new housing development, broke ground in Mountain Home. There will be 136 units with 120 affordable housing units. The development will eventually see single family homes also but is starting with a two-building multi-family complex. LEAP Housing, using low-income housing tax credits, is the funding source, in partnership with the city of Mountain Home and the Idaho Housing and Finance Association which is the administrator of the program. It’s been 20 years since Mountain Home has had new affordable housing. Source: Mountain Home News


  • Capital Lumber completed renovations to its new distribution center in Boise. It is at the site of a former Motive Power diesel engine plant on 6 acres with a 40,000-square-foot warehouse. It has hired a handful of employees with plans to be at 15 staffers by next year. It has nine other distribution centers and the one in Salt Lake City was serving Idaho and eastern Oregon. Founded in Phoenix, Capital Lumber has 10 locations —including Boise. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • PepsiCo Beverages held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new 109,000-square-foot distribution center in Boise with updated technology. The company is hiring in areas such as merchandising, working in the delivery warehouse and in sales operations. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Tommy’s Italian opened in Meridian supported by its parent restaurant il Sugo. The restauranters are hoping it will lead to a local fast-casual chain with future Idaho expansions. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Mad Mac is opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Kuna after closing its location at the Boise Spectrum by Edwards theater. The food truck is still in operation in the Treasure Valley. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Coiled Wines opened its new tasting room and visual performing arts venue in Garden City. The winemaker spent 18 months converting a 3,200-square-foot antique shop into a 5,500-square-foot contemporary facility. Along with wine-making activities, it includes a separate space for events. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Black Moon, a bakery by day and pizzeria by night, opened in Garden City. The bakery supplies pastries to Broadcast Coffee Shop. Both are operated by the same owner. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Maggie Thai Restaurant opened in west Boise. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • The new Marie Callender’s restaurant and bakery opened in Meridian. It has a smaller menu than the restaurant that closed in Boise five years ago. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Voodoo Brewing Company opened a pub in Boise. It is a Pennsylvania brew that opened its first taproom in 2012 and is new to the western part of the states. It offers a combination of corporate and Idaho recipes. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Brie-sta Coffee Company held a ribbon cutting as it opened its official headquarters in Mountain Home. The company has two other locations in Mountain Home and has been serving the community for 30 years. Source: Mountain Home News
  • Chicago Fire is a pizzeria newly opened in Meridian offering deep dish pizza and appetizers. This is the first restaurant in Idaho with four existing restaurants in Sacramento. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Bistro D’Helene opened in Boise’s North End offering a menu that is inspired by the heart of France. It replaces Fort Street Station that offered pub food. Source: Idaho Statesman


  • Camping World is closing its Garden City dealership and separate maintenance shop. Most of the employees are transferring to either the Caldwell or Meridian dealerships. Camping World also has dealerships in Pocatello and Idaho Falls. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Holy Cow Idaho is closing its Eagle restaurant that did not perform as expected. The owner cited high saturation in the Eagle restaurant market. The location opened last October. Operations at the original Nampa location will continue. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Cluck’s Nashville Hot Chicken closed both of its locations over the past few months in Boise and Meridian after opening in 2022. 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

  • The Hailey City Council has approved the development of an eight-unit rent-restricted townhome development called Sunny Gulch Townhomes to be used for workforce housing. Six units will be three-bedroom townhomes and two will be two-bedroom townhomes. The units will range from 1,140 – 1,870 square feet with rent capped at 30% of the household’s adjusted gross income, or 140% of the area income. The project is estimated to cost $3.3 million. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
  • The Bureau of Land Management and the city of Hailey have announced the completion of the 3.5-mile Silver Lining Trail. This trail connects the Toe of the Hill Trail and the Blaine Recreation District’s Quigley Canyon Trails. The new trail is multiuse, allowing for mountain bikes, e-bikes and horses. Source: Idaho Mountain Express

Twin Falls County

  • Twin Falls Fire Station is complete after 17 months of construction. The new facility is able to house up to seven firefighters with space to bring vehicles inside along with designated space to separate clean and dirty equipment, helping keep personnel safer and healthier. The facility is estimated to last for 30 years. Source: KMVT
  • The Idaho State Department of Agriculture (IDSA) has finished its quagga mussel treatment on the Snake River. As the treatment is complete, the community may see increased fish mortality because a copper-based treatment used to eradicate the mussels can be harmful to some fish. The ISDA is monitoring this closely. A portion of the Snake River reopened Oct. 19. Source: KMVT


  • Slices Cheesecake, Filer.
  • North Canyon Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, Twin Falls., regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 735-2500 ext. 3062

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

Region News

  • Labor force estimates for September 2023 from the Idaho Department of Labor’s Local Area Unemployment Statistics program again showed employment increase and unemployment decrease in the seven-county southeastern region. Seasonally adjusted, September’s preliminary estimates show labor force participants increased by 104, with 223 more employed and 119 fewer unemployed individuals. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3%, 0.3 percentage points higher than it was one year prior.

Table: Southeast Idaho labor force data September 2023

  • In September 2023 there were 1,867 unique online job postings in the southeastern Idaho labor market area, up from 1,783 the prior month and up from 1,775 the previous September. The median posting duration stood at 21 days, down from 27 days in August and 26 days in September 2022.

Table: Top 10 occupations by unique job postings in southeastern Idaho, September 2023

  • The top occupational families by unique online job postings in southeastern Idaho continue to be health care practitioners and technical; sales and related; management; transportation and material moving; and office and administrative support. Among specific occupations, registered nurses remain at the top of the list and were up 47% compared to the same time last year.

Table: Top 10 industries by job unique postings in southeastern Idaho, September 2023

  • Health care and social assistance remained at the top of industries by unique online job postings in September 2023 with 324, up from 236 the prior September. A majority of all job postings remained in service-producing industries, though manufacturing came in second with 217 postings and construction came in ninth with 88 postings.

Table" Top 10 hardest-to fill occupations in southeastern Idaho, September 2023

  • Lightcast’s data from the Conference Board indicates the hardest-to-fill jobs were in arts, design entertainment, sports and media occupations with a median posting duration of 41 days, followed by production occupations (33 days); computer and mathematical occupations (30 days); health care support occupations (30 days); and building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations (29 days). The single occupation with the longest median posting duration was medical and health services managers at 57 days followed by merchandise displayers and window trimmers (50 days) and computer occupations, all other (49 days).
  • The final tally for attendance at this year’s East Idaho State Fair in Blackfoot had four daily records set with hundreds of thousands attending over the course of the event. This was despite poor weather over the opening weekend. Source: East Idaho News
  • The planned East Idaho Forensic Pathology Center will no longer be located on the Idaho State University campus after other setbacks and delays including difficulties hiring a forensic pathologist. The center would serve 17 counties in the eastern half of Idaho and relieve demand on the only existing forensic pathology lab in the state, which is the Ada County Coroner’s Office. Bannock County Commissioners continue to explore options to open the center in the county. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Idaho State University broke enrollment and retention records this fall semester. New first-time undergraduate enrollments are up 25.6% year-over-year and total degree-seeking undergraduate students are up 6.4%. Student retention rates climbed to 74%and are up 10% over a three-year period. Source: Idaho State University

Bannock County

  • Portneuf Health opened a new urgent care clinic at the Portneuf Medical Plaza in Northgate. The clinic operates Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on weekends until 6 p.m. Source: East Idaho News
  • NeighborhoodWorks Pocatello announced it is nearing completion of its 26-unit Bonneville Commons subdivision on North Eighth Avenue after starting the development in 2020. The subdivision aims to provide affordable housing for the city, consisting of 12 single-family homes, four twin homes and two triplexes. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The United Seniors Project was awarded $2,700 by American Association for Retired Persons to help with planning for a Lifelong Learning Center for area seniors in the historic “Triangle” neighborhood in Pocatello by East Lander and Third Avenue. The 15,000-square-foot complex will house an auditorium, classrooms and provide a location for events like music performances, dances and other social engagements. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The Pocatello City Council voted unanimously to reject bids for replacing the water slide at Ross Park Aquatic Complex and adding a splash pad to Brooklyn’s Playground at O.K. Ward Park. Bids for both projects came in substantially over the city’s budget. By rejecting the bids, the city will have satisfied a state law that first requires municipalities to request bid proposals through a public and competitive process on projects in excess of $50,000 before they can seek goods or services on the open market. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Alpine Animal Hospital has opened the first pet urgent care center in the Pocatello area. The Chubbuck veterinarian clinic was able to expand services after hiring three new veterinarians this summer and is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day of the week. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Factory Direct Floors held a grand opening for its newest store in Chubbuck. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Bannock County’s Human Resources Department launched a new system for listing vacant jobs and receiving applications called ApplicantPro. The new system features compatibility with mobile devices, premium status with Indeed, a communications center with email and texting capabilities, eForms and electronic approval workflows for internal processes. Source: KIFI Local News 8
  • Extreme Rush will soon break ground on its 60,000-square-foot family fun center in Chubbuck. The new facility will include a multi-level go-cart track, a gel blaster course, arcade games and a mini golf course. A tentative opening date has been set for April or May 2024. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The Bannock County Planning and Development Council upheld its initial denial for an appealed application to construct a gravel pit near Siphon Road in Chubbuck by Idaho Materials and Construction. The Council’s decision came after strong local opposition from residents concerned with the environmental impact of dust as well as increased truck traffic. Source: Idaho State Journal

Bingham County

  • The city of Aberdeen is working with the Southeast Idaho Council of Governments to apply for a $250,000 grant to help improve Wahlen Field. If awarded the grant, the city would install bathrooms and security cameras at the ballpark. Source: The Aberdeen Times
  • Researchers at the University of Idaho Extension in Aberdeen have begun a three-year trial study exploring the benefits of using alfalfa varieties typically not bred for the local climate as a cover crop. Researchers hypothesize the non-dormant annual varieties of alfalfa will help to fix more nitrogen and thereby improve soil health. The research builds off of a similar trial in Utah. Source: The Aberdeen Times
  • Voters in the Shelley Joint School District will decide on a $67.8 million bond to help build a new high school. The anticipated interest rate on the bond is 3.68% per annum with an estimated annual cost to taxpayers of $259 per $100,000 of taxable assessed value. Source: KIFI Local News 8, East Idaho News

Caribou County

  • The U.S. Department of Interior announced $6.2 million in funding to acquire 2,500 acres to add to the 22,000-acre Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge located north of Soda Springs. This comes as part of a larger $50.6 million effort to expand wetlands and upland bird habitat. Source: Idaho Capital Sun
  • The cities of Soda Springs and Grace both announced utility fee increases, with Soda Springs residents seeing a 5% increase to water and sewer and a 3% increase for power. Grace residents can expect a 3% increase to water, sewer and garbage. Source: Caribou County Sun
  • The city of Soda Springs received a $500,000 recreation grant from the U.S. Forest Service to develop wetlands south of the city’s gravel pit. City officials hope to participate with Nutrien, who currently owns the property, to develop a recreation area. Source: Caribou County Sun
  • Rocky Mountain Power (a division of PacifiCorp) filed its initial consultation documentation with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a feasibility study for a pumped hydroelectric facility at its existing Oneida hydroelectric project. The proposed project would consist of a new upper reservoir alongside its existing Oneida reservoir; pipes connecting the reservoirs to a new powerhouse and pumping station; and a transmission line connecting the new substation to PacifiCorp’s existing Oneida substation. Source: Caribou County Sun
  • The Soda Springs City Council approved an additional 2.5% cost-of-living adjustment for city employees on top of the previously approved 3.5% increase. This comes amidst hiring difficulties by many municipalities during a tight labor market. Source: Caribou County Sun
  • The Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR) held a public hearing regarding an 1,800-acre Area of Drilling Concern to protect public health and prevent waste or contamination of ground or surface water. The contamination is from a water plume from the old Kerr-McGee industrial site on the north edge of the city, now a Superfund Site. This action by IDWR came after detection of molybdenum and vanadium in the groundwater at levels exceeding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency limits for tap water. Source: Caribou County Sun

Franklin County

  • The city of Preston approved several business licenses as well as a $6,000 donation to the Franklin County Community/Senior Center. The original request was for $8,000 by the community organization. Source: The Preston Citizen
  • The Franklin County Farm Bureau hosted an informational meeting concerning the ongoing Bear River Water Adjudication, with 50 local stakeholders in attendance. The adjudication began July 2021 to make a complete and accurate accounting of existing rights in the Bear River basin that stretches through Bear Lake, Cassia, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida and Power counties. This is in addition to parts of Wyoming and Utah. This comes amidst growing demand for water from producers in Idaho and Utah. Source: Idaho Farm Bureau Federation

Power County

    • American Falls School District announced property tax reductions totaling $670,00 for 2023 and will be reflected in the December 2023 tax bill. This reduction will amount to $73.79 per $100,000 of assessed property value. Source: Power County Press
    • The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is preparing a draft 401 water quality certification for the American Falls Hydroelectric Project as part of relicensing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. DEQ will seek public comment once the draft is completed. Source: Power County Press
    • The Greater American Falls Area Chamber of Commerce announced its upcoming Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25. The event will include raffles with prizes including a $1,500 travel voucher for a Las Vegas weekend and will seek to promote local businesses and encourage patrons to shop locally. Source: Power County Press, 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

  • Labor force estimates for September 2023 from the Idaho Department of Labor’s Local Area Unemployment Statistics program showed both the number of employed and unemployed persons increased in the nine-county eastern region. Seasonally adjusted, September’s preliminary estimates show labor force participants increased by 1,149 from August, with 211 fewer unemployed and 1,660 additional employed, resulting in an unemployment rate of 2.6%. This was 0.2 percentage points lower than in August, but 0.3 percentage points higher than it was one year prior.

Table: Eastern Idaho labor force data September 2023

There were an estimated 2,445 unique job postings in the eastern Idaho labor market for September 2023, according to the Conference Board’s Help Wanted Online. *Note that this is regional job postings data, and not necessarily job openings data.* The 2,445 postings are a decrease from 2,530 (-3%) the prior month and a decrease from 3,052 (-20%) year-over-year. Retail salespersons maintained the lead of top occupations by unique job postings in the region since August. The top five occupations by unique job postings also remained the same. Light truck drivers and civil engineers replaced managers and construction laborers on the top 10 list since the previous month. All other occupations listed carried over from the top 10 of August. Employer job demand, from a job postings perspective, increased in September for retail salespersons (13%), customer service reps (27%) and wholesale/manufacturing sales reps (7%). Conversely, there was a decrease in postings for heavy tractor trailer drivers (-23%) and registered nurses (-22%).

Table: Top 10 occupations by unique job postings in Eastern Idaho, September 2023


The retail trade industry assumed the lead over professional, scientific and technical services industry in the eastern Idaho region rankings of active job postings for September. There was an increase in retail trade and health care/social assistance industry categories of job postings in September. Conversely, there was a reduction in job postings in professional, scientific and technical services; accommodation/food services; construction; public administration; and educational services industry categories.

Table: Top industries by job unique postings in Eastern Idaho, September 2023

September data from the Conference Board denotes the hardest-to-fill job postings by job title in eastern Idaho, in terms of time to fill and multiple job postings. These included delivery drivers, cashiers and postdoctoral research associates. Top job demand challenges in September by occupational family were transportation/material moving, sales/related and health care practitioners. Every occupation was new to the September list of hardest-to-fill postings, except mechanics, delivery drivers and postdoctoral research associate job carryovers.

Table: Top 10 hardest-to fill occupations in Eastern Idaho, September 2023


Region Developments

  • The Center for Large Landscape Conservation study concluded that for wildlife crossings, one of the worst stretches of road was U.S. Highway 20, which was above the top 10th percentile for wildlife-vehicle collisions and above the 50th percentile for ecological connectivity. In 2018, the Idaho Transportation Department proposed four options for improving U.S. 20 to West Yellowstone to make it safer for area migratory wildlife and motorists, including a wildlife overpass, which was not approved, more fencing and signs. The Idaho-specific analysis found a total of 12,635 reported collisions with large wildlife over 12 years (2009-2020). Based on costs and number of collisions, Idaho’s average cost of WVCs (wildlife-vehicle collisions) per year is $143,697,736. Source: Bozeman Chronicle
  • Custer County voters won’t have the opportunity to cast a ballot in the Nov. 7 election because too few candidates filed for many of the vacant offices throughout the county to contest any seats. Candidates who filed for city council offices in Challis and Clayton, in addition to cemetery, fire, and Mackay and Challis school boards assume office by default. A solo candidate filed for re-election to the Challis school board for another four-year term representing zone five on the board (parts of both Custer and Lemhi counties). Another solo candidate filed for re-election to the Challis school board, representing zone two and will serve via the automatic election process, unless write-in candidates file. One more unopposed candidate filed for re-election to the zone five spot on the Butte County school board (a portion in Custer County). Source: Challis Messenger
  • Yellowstone National Park in August hosted 846,389 recreation visits, a 45% increase from August 2022 and a 3% increase from August 2019. To date in 2023, Yellowstone has hosted 3,313,244 recreation visits, up 36% (more than 875,000) from 2022 and up 6% from 2019. Grand Teton National Park hosted 842,000 total visitors in August, which was up 18.6% over August 2022 figures. Total year-to-date park visitation at Grand Teton is up 13% year over year. Source: National Park Service news release
  • Idaho Falls Regional Airport has been awarded a federal Small Community Air Service Development Grant of $950,000 to offer additional flights. It provides a revenue guarantee to pursue and develop future air service to the Los Angeles area and further reduce airfare costs while providing greater regional connectivity. Source: East Idaho News
  • The Idaho Falls Regional Airport is undergoing many changes to include increasing accessibility with new equipment. The parking lot and entrances into the lot are being renovated and/or replaced. Fiber optics will also be expanded to the parking lot. Local city officials are also deciding on a new director for the Idaho Falls Airport. The other major project is the $45 million terminal expansion next year. Source: Post Register
  • A record influx of state and federal funding is paying for a $140 million transformation of Idaho state parks. State officials used $2.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act money to purchase Challis Hot Springs and operate it with Land of the Yankee Fork State Park. The park has a 50-space campground. The state will also use funding to pave over the 30-mile Ashton-Teton Trail, which opened in 2010 along the former Teton Valley Branch of the Union Pacific Railroad. Paving will expand accessibility to the trail with views of the Teton Range and passes over three historic trestle bridges. Source: Idaho Capital Sun

Bonneville County

  • Thor’s Chocolate, a shop that recently opened in Idaho Falls, makes commercial quality bean-to-bar chocolate in a home factory. Source: East Idaho News
  • FrontLine Cyber Solutions in Idaho Falls was awarded a $37 million contract with the United States Space Force. This is a disabled veteran-owned cyber solution, technology and science solution company with an employee base of 20 workers. It’s customer base includes the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Macau and Germany. Source: Post Register
  • Ammon City Council approved the annexation of Johnston Farms. Utah-based Hamlet Homes intends to build 25 single-family homes proposed on its 7 acres. The city also approved partial funding to help the YMCA with facility maintenance. Source: Post Register
  • Ammon City approved a land development next to White Pine Charter School Elementary called the Hidden Valley Division, which Rockwell Homes will construct. Source: Post Register
  • East Idaho Airguns opened in Idaho Falls. The retail shop also has an indoor rifle range. Source: East Idaho News
  • The city of Idaho Falls announced expansion, renaming and renovation of the Idaho Falls Civic Center for the Performing Arts from a $3.5 million donation from Frontier Credit Union. The project will cost approximately $7.4 million, and fundraising has already raised $1.33 million, for a total of $4.83 million. The new center, to be renamed Frontier Center for the Performing Arts, has an expected finish date of fall 2026. Source: East Idaho News
  • The 1st Street Thrift store in Idaho Falls has closed permanently. Source: East Idaho News
  • As part of the property tax relief bill passed by the state Legislature in March, $106.2 million is being distributed to school districts across Idaho. This includes Bonneville Joint School District 93, which received $5,050,995 to be applied directly toward property tax relief. Idaho Falls School District 91 received $3,751,998. The funds are reportedly used to pay down existing bond payments rather than using revenues from citizens’ property taxes. Source: The Post Register
  • The Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce announced ribbon cutting and groundbreaking ceremonies at Nourish & Flourish, Tee Time, The Dance Bar and Pick PT Physical Therapy. These establishments met one of the following criteria: 1. Opened their doors within the past six months; 2. Moved to a new location due to expansion; or 3. Remodeled/expanded their current location. Source: Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce
  • For September, the Bonneville County median home listing prices marginally decreased both from last month to $439,900 and from this time last year (-2%). The county decreased in active home listings both month-over-month (-2%) and year-over-year (-28%). Median days on the market increased to 46 days (6%). New listings were up from the month prior (4%) and but down over the year (-23%). There were 152 homes in inventory with reduced listing prices in September (9%). Source:

 Butte County

  • For September, the Butte County median home listing prices reported no change from last month’s $269,000 and a drop from this time last year (-4%). The county’s active home listings decreased month-over-month (-12%), but increased year-over-year (16%). Median days on the market increased to 65 days (24%). New listings were both up from the month prior (100%) and over the year (100%). There were no homes in inventory with reduced listing prices in September (-100%). Source:

Clark County

  • Local school districts have received just under $3 million as part of the $300 million tax relief bill passed by the state Legislature in March. This is part of the $106 million rolled out to school districts across the state. Clark County School District #161 will receive $42,356. It offsets the amount collected for its two-year supplemental levy for $250,000 a year. Source: Jefferson Star
  • For September, Clark County median home listing prices decreased both from last month to $224,750 (-10%) and from September 2022 prices (-80%). Active home listings in the county increased month-over-month (100%) and didn’t change year-over-year. Median days on the market increased to 26 days (113%). There was no data reported for new listings or homes with reduced listing prices. Source:

Custer County

  • Zone permits were approved by Challis City for multiple manufactured homes and connections to utilities. Source: Challis Messenger
  • For September, Custer County median home listing prices marginally increased to $500,000 from last month but decreased from September 2022 prices (-32%). The county Active home listings in the county decreased month-over-month (-3%), but increased year-over-year (27%). Median days on the market increased to 105 days (38%). New listings increased over the (100%) and reported no change over the year. There were no homes in inventory with reduced their listing prices in September (-100%). Source:

Fremont County

  • Teton Elementary School in Fremont County Joint District # 215 was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2023 among 353 schools across the nation recognized. The recognition is based on the school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups on assessments. Source: KIFI Local News 8
  • Big Springs Water Company LLC, was appointed as the receiver of Island Park Water Company, taking on operations until the company is dissolved. Earlier this year, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality filed a civil complaint in court after the presence of E. coli bacteria was found in several of Island Park’s seven public water systems. The company is now closed. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • For September, the Fremont County median home listing prices marginally increased to $699,000 over the month but decreased from September 2022 prices (-3%). Month-over-month active home listings increased in the county (6%), as well as year-over-year (24%). Median days on the market increased to 66 days (20%). New listings were down from the month prior (-20%). There were 36 homes in inventory with reduced listing prices in September (-14%). Source:

Jefferson County

  • The Bravo 6 Flight Academy opened at the Rigby Airport. It has 40 students enrolled for private and commercial pilot training. Source: East Idaho News
  • Idaho Central Credit Union opened a new branch in Rigby. Source: KIFI Local News 8
  • The city of Rigby may be working with Fybercom in the near future to lay fiberoptic internet access conduits throughout the city limits. Fybercom approached the council to propose the project, which will be funded by the company, with no cost to the city and its taxpayers. The project is approximately $10 million, an investment Fybercom is willing to make after performing some market research. Source: Jefferson Star News
  • Local school districts have received just under $3 million as part of the $300 million tax relief bill passed by the state Legislature in March. This is part of the $106 million rolled out to school districts across the state. Jefferson Joint School District #251 will be receiving $2,479,299. Jefferson passed a $5 million facilities bond to construct a gym at Roberts Elementary School. Ririe Joint School District #252 will receive $258,993.06. The district also passed a $290,000 supplemental levy in March. West Jefferson School District #253 will receive $211,403. In March, they also passed a supplemental levy for $360,000 to recruit and retain qualified teachers and staff. Source: Jefferson Star
  • Districts can impose emergency levies if they log an enrollment increase over the first 10 days of the school year and can collect funds without voter approval. Jefferson and County school districts imposed an emergency levy by the deadline and will collect about $609,000. Source: Idaho Education News
  • After a public hearing on a moratorium, Jefferson Planning and Zoning stated that Menan’s Area of Impact (AOI) Agreement is nearly complete. It was determined the zoning within the previous Menan Area of Impact is not a zone that exists under the county’s zoning ordinances and needs to be updated to address future development of residential commercial and agricultural lots. The moratorium will stop any developments from proceeding in the city’s AOI while it still has Menan Traditional zoning. The board also approved a moratorium on land divisions. Source: Jefferson Star
  • For September, the Jefferson County median home listing prices marginally increased to $560,000 month-over-month and also increased from September 2022 (9%). Active home listings increased both month-over-month (3%) and year-over-year (12%). Median days on the market increased to 60 days (34%). New listings increased from the month prior (5%). There were 52 homes in inventory with reduced listing prices in September (-4%). Source:

Lemhi County

  • The chambers of commerce in Stanley and Challis and the Lemhi County Economic Development Association all received grants from the Idaho Travel Council. The Stanley-Sawtooth chamber was awarded $187,875 in tourism marketing funds. The Challis chamber received $23,590. The Lemhi economic development group was awarded $42,715. The Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association also received $223,722. The local grants are part of $10.3 million in funding to promote Idaho cities and regions as travel destinations. Source: Challis Messenger
  • Whitewater River Shuttle in Salmon was closed down for business. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Brad Little visited the town of Carmen for the Idaho Capital for a Day event in September. Residents were able to ask questions, share opinions and seek answers from the governor and state agency officials at the event. Source: Idaho Capital Sun
  • For September, Lemhi County median home listing prices decreased month-over-month to $712,000 (-2%) but increased from September 2022 (17%). Active home listings marginally decreased month-over-month, but increased year-over-year (31%). Median days on the market increased to 97 days (21%). New listings increased from the month prior (20%). There were 12 homes in inventory with reduced listing prices in September (-14%). Source: 

Madison County

  • A grand opening of The Yoga Studio’s new location in Rexburg was celebrated Sept. 23. Source: East Idaho News
  • Spaws Grooming self-service pet wash opened in Rexburg. Source: East Idaho News
  • SodaVine opened its new location in west Rexburg. Source: Rexburg Standard Journal
  • A new charter school, Gem Prep, an education program with presence in five other cities, will be coming to Rexburg in 2026. Source: Rexburg Standard Journal
  • Yellowstone Safari Park in Rexburg, home to buffalo, deer, bear, foxes, wolves and elk, opened on Sept. 30. It is zoned agriculturally and is considered a “game ranch.” The Idaho and U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Idaho Fish & Game have jurisdiction over the ranch’s animals. Source: Rexburg Standard Journal
  • MadisonHealth’s new clinic, Rigby Medical Center, celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting. Specialties are primary care, podiatry, OB/BYN and Orthopedics. Source: East Idaho News
  • Parsons Behle & Latimer law firm opened a location in Rexburg. Source: Rexburg Standard Journal
  • Rexburg city parks will benefit from a $1 million U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service Grant. The city had originally applied for a $15 million USDA grant. Rocky Mountain Power also awarded Rexburg a $5,000 grant for a wheelchair accessible park swing. Source: Rexburg Standard Journal
  • The University of Idaho Extension is coming to Rexburg in October and November to host four different Land SMART Workshops for local landowners. Source: BYU-Idaho Scroll
  • For September, Madison County median home listing prices decreased to $399,900 (-4) and showed a marginal increase from September 2022 prices. Active home listings decreased both month-over-month (-6%) and year-over-year (-2%). Median days on the market increased to 67 days (17%). New listings increased over the month (5%). There were 28 homes in inventory with reduced listing prices in September (-13%). Source:

 Teton County

  • Tributary, a 1,500-acre golf and luxury-home community with a 500-home site capacity, is underway in Driggs. There are 92 homes built to date, with eight new starts this fall and another eight scheduled for the spring. New homes cost from $3.25 million to over $5 million and are being built at a rate of 20-35 units a year. Source: Wall Street Journal
  • Clothing retailer, Live Breezy Shop & Studio, opened its doors in Driggs as the first business of four in the new housing development Depot Square. Source: Teton Valley News
  • The first major brand hotel to open in the area is a 120-room Marriott Element to be built in Driggs, but opening is at least three years off. Salt Lake City-based Lot 6 Group is required to widen some of Main Street and add a traffic light. Source: Wall Street Journal
  • Districts can impose emergency levies if they log an enrollment increase over the first 10 days of the school year and can collect funds without voter approval. Teton County school districts imposed an emergency levy by the deadline and will collect about $94,000. Source: Idaho Education News
  • Teton Canyon Road, trailheads, campsites and parking lots are going through a major refresh this fall and into next summer as the U.S. Forest Service works to make it more accessible, user-friendly and safe. Beginning last year, base work began for resurfacing the road via Federal Land Transportation Program funding. They also qualified for a Great American Outdoors Act grant. Source: Teton Valley News
  • Last March, a citizen nonprofit, Teton Valley Trails & Pathways, began their campaign to raise $423,000 to further their programs and progress with trails. To date, they have raised $389,250 to improve summer and winter trailways. Source: Teton Valley News
  • For September, Teton County median home listing prices both decreased to $880,000 (-10%) month-over-month and year-over-year (-26%). Active home listings marginally decreased month-over-month, but increased year-over-year (25%). Median days on the market increased to 72 days (13%). New listings decreased from the month prior (-55%). There were 28 homes in inventory with reduced listing prices in September (-26%). Source:, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
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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.