Our vision is to be Idaho’s first choice for employment services. We connect job seekers with Idaho employers, deliver employment services to Idaho businesses and support people during career and life transitions.
Idaho’s economy and labor market have undergone significant changes in the last 10 years. The state has experienced a population boom after its recovery from the Great Recession, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Population growth and the labor market
One of the most striking features of Idaho’s economy in the last decade is the surge in its population. According to the Census Bureau, from 2012 to 2022, Idaho witnessed an increase of 343,000 residents inside its borders raising its total population to 1.939 million. If all of the additional residents collected themselves to start a new city in Idaho, it would be 45% larger than Boise, Idaho’s largest city with a population in 2022 of 236,632. This thought experiment demonstrates not only the magnitude of the population increase but the incredible economic change it drove.
Meridian is the second largest city in Idaho with 129,736 residents. It grew by almost 4,000 people between 2021 and 2022, with a 3.2% growth rate. Nampa came in first place.
“Meridian’s civilian labor force grew by 6.2% since November of 2022, adding almost 4,000 people to the labor force,” said Idaho labor economist Jan Roeser. “There are many opportunities for job seekers to connect with employers.”
With Meridian’s population continuing to grow, many employers have job vacancies to fill.
As the holidays are upon us, many look forward to traveling and recreational activities as they spend time with friends and family. Idahoans and others from across the country come to see the state’s natural beauty and famous winter sports during the holiday season. The tourism industry is crucial to Idaho’s economy, being Idaho’s third largest industry (behind agriculture and technology) as of 2021¹. Tourism is also a rapidly growing industry. In 2021, $4.8 billion dollars were spent by visitors on direct travel spending (up 12.2% from 2019) with 84% of tourism spending generated by out-of-state visitors (up 8% from 2019)¹. However, with increasing costs of transportation and other economic headwinds, travel and tourism may see some challenges this holiday season.
Labor demand in northern Idaho declined slightly in October, but remained robust overall. In total, there were 1,734 job postings in northern Idaho in October, 2023, according to data from the Conference Board. In total there were 1,415 jobs posted in Kootenai County. The most in-demand occupation was retail salespersons, followed by registered nurses.
Top 10 occupations by job postings in northern Idaho, October 2023
What is a Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA)?
A Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment is a required assessment designed to provide people who are unemployed with the support, tools and resources to help them return to work as quickly as possible. If you are selected, you will be required to attend a mandatory appointment at your nearest Idaho Department of Labor office. Labor’s workforce consultants are employment experts dedicated to helping you find work by providing:
Idaho businesses and employers are invited to learn about unemployment insurance (UI) tax compliance from the Idaho Department of Labor during a free Zoom seminar on Wednesday, Nov. 29 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. (MDT).
Idaho’s population of people with a disability is estimated at 14.1% or 269,585, based on the 2022 American Community Survey released recently by the U.S. Census.
The number of Idahoans with disabilities who are of working age is estimated at 140,752 — a 12.5% share of the state’s total population — with an estimated 6.4% unemployment rate. This group has close to a 50% labor force participation rate, which means they are working or actively seeking work.
The unemployment rate for Idahoans with disabilities is double that of the state’s population in general, 3.1% for September 2023, while the current participation rate for Idaho’s workforce overall is 62%. This data provides important insight into a group of people seeking employment opportunities. In many cases, a reasonable accommodation by an employer to hire a worker with a disability can be minimal in cost and in other cases accommodation is not necessary at all, depending on the job duties.
Those interested in exploring a career in transportation and trades can learn about how apprenticeships can help “earn while you learn” in a free webinar Nov.16, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. via Zoom.
The Idaho Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau are partnering with Apprenticeship Idaho to host this event.
Apprenticeship is an alternative pathway to a meaningful career. It offers paid on-the-job training that can lead to a certificate or recognized credential. Women who pursue apprenticeship can attest to better-than-average pay, benefits and career advancement opportunities, according to recent research from the Urban Institute.
Estimates indicate there are currently 1,400 total job openings in Kootenai County. The top five industries hiring in northern Idaho include administrative and support services; ambulatory health care services; food service and drinking places; professional, scientific and technical services and insurance carriers and related services, according to Sam Wolkenhauer, Idaho Department of Labor regional economist.
Employers seeking workers for some of these positions will be meeting with job seekers at Labor’s Post Falls monthly hiring event Nov. 15. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m at the Post Falls Labor office, 600 N. Thornton St.