The Idaho Division of Veteran Services plans to proceed with construction of a 64-room home for veterans in Post Falls. The 83,000-square-foot skilled nursing facility is slated for completion in 2022. It will be Idaho’s fourth veterans home and the first in northern Idaho. Source: Journal of Business
Redevelopment of the former Atlas Mill site in Coeur d’Alene is underway, with the first phase now scheduled for the first half of 2021 to include a mix of housing. The first development phase includes 24 townhomes, 54 single family homes and 93 multifamily units along with a mix of retail and office space. Altogether, this first phase of construction will use four of the Atlas Mill site’s 13 development plats. Source: Journal of Business
Kenworth Trucks is planning to build a new facility in Post Falls to offer parts, sales, service and leasing. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
December’s economic data showed that Idaho continued to progress in what has become one of the fastest economic recoveries in the country, following the economic shock of the COVID pandemic in the spring months of 2020. Idaho’s nonfarm jobs continued their recovery and are now slightly above the breakeven point for the year, with total nonfarm jobs now exceeding the totals reached in December 2019.
Idaho’s total nonfarm jobs grew by 4,900 (0.6%) to 773,700 for December 2020. Substantial gains in trade, transportation and utilities (+2,400) as well as leisure and hospitality (+1,800) drove the increases, although most of Idaho’s major sectors enjoyed gains in December.
The economic slowdown following the initial COVID-19 pandemic effects drove many industries to lose jobs temporarily – and some permanently – across Idaho and the United States. Idaho had been in the midst of a growth streak pre-pandemic, with a 2.5 percent unemployment rate in March. But shortly after, Idaho’s employment dropped nearly 10 percent from March to April – from roughly 873,000 jobs to 789,000. The impact, however, was not equally damaging across all industries. Some industries such as financial activities and construction have had over-the-year growth at a much higher rate than the nation. Nationally, employment within the financial activities industry declined.
To determine possible reasons for this disparity, the Idaho Department of Labor conducted a shift-share analysis over a 10-year period to isolate the effects of changing employment among financial sectors.
MetalQuest Unlimited, a precision machine manufacturer based in Nebraska, has chosen Post Falls for its new manufacturing facility. The company, which specializes in precision production for clients in oil, agriculture and firearms manufacturing, expects to begin production at its new Post Falls facility by the end of January, with roughly 25 employees at first. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Health care providers in Kootenai County have received the first batches of COVID-19 vaccine and have begun vaccinating frontline medical staff. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The JC Penny in the Silver Lake Mall is now slated to close in the spring after being included in the company’s recent list of planned store closures. The store had been an anchor tenant of the Silver Lake Mall and was the last remaining JC Penny in North Idaho following the previous closures of stores in Lewiston and Ponderay. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The Post Falls City Council approved the purchase of a $415,000 parcel of riverfront property, which was the final privately held plot in the Post Falls Water Treatment Facility’s easement to the Spokane River. The parcel is expected to be acquired in anticipation of a future expansion of the city’s wastewater treatment capacity. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
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The Panhandle Health District approved a mask mandate for all five northern counties, effective for 60 days. All five counties are currently in the “red” category for COVID cases, with high test positive rates and hospitals nearing or at full capacity. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Northwest Specialty Hospital has terminated an agreement with MultiCare Health System, which would have allowed MultiCare to become the majority owner of the hospital. Northwest Specialty will instead enter into a new agreement with Mountain View Hospital of Idaho Falls which will allow Northwest Specialty to remain physician-owned and operated. Source: Journal of Business
The city of Post Falls adopted a city-wide mask recommendation and a mask requirement on city property. The city also has begun revising guidelines to reduce occupancy at city facilities to align with Idaho’s movement back to Stage 2 COVID requirements. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
As of October, Idaho has recovered faster than most other states from the sudden, enormous economic losses caused by the coronavirus shutdowns in March and April. Idaho’s long-term population and economic growth gives it strong upward economic momentum. In addition, the shutdowns in the state at that time did not as severely restrict economic activity as it did in many other states.
Despite Idaho’s relative success, it’s not back to normal, and 26,400 more Idahoans were unemployed in October than in February, according to seasonally adjusted labor force statistics from the Idaho Department of Labor. In the uncertain atmosphere caused by COVID-19 and a global economic slowdown, it’s likely that restoring all the jobs lost during the pandemic will take several months. Continue reading →
Tamarack Aerospace Group is continuing its rapid expansion and is on track to triple its space in Sandpoint with additional office and hanger facilities. The company, which successfully completed a restructuring and emerged from bankruptcy filings, is aiming to leverage the new space for intensified research and development. Source: Journal of Business
Lakeside Capital Group LLC is planning a large new residential development on more than 1,000 acres of land, located between Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene. The land, acquired by the developer last year, was recently rezoned from agricultural land to transitional use. The planned new residential community, called Coeur Terre, could potentially include more than 2,000 units in a mixture of single and multi-family developments. Source: Journal of Business
Hagadone Hospitality is working on a new mixed-use development in southeastern Coeur d’Alene, which will feature three 200-foot tall towers to include a mixture of hotel rooms, apartments and condominiums. The development is still in the planning stage, has not been assigned an address and does not have a concrete timeline for completion yet. Source: Journal of Business
COVID masking mandates in northern Idaho are in flux, with the Panhandle Health District rescinding its mask order and the city of Coeur d’Alene implementing a mask order of its own, which went into effect on Oct. 27. Coeur d’Alene Public Schools are currently facing a significant COVID-19 outbreak, with large numbers of students quarantined. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Launching a new career, or considering changing a current one, can be daunting and even more so during the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. But In spite of the negative effects of the pandemic on many industries, manufacturing can offers opportunities.
Manufacturing is an evolving industry, especially in southwestern Idaho ranging from semi-conductor chip manufacturing to potato chip manufacturing. The skill levels of the workforce over the past couple of decades have changed dramatically as manufacturing is more automated and less physically demanding in many cases. Markets have changed with more global opportunities for Idaho products.
The highest level of manufacturing among Idaho’s six regions is in southwestern Idaho with more than 30,000 jobs across its 10 counties – 47 percent of all Idaho manufacturing jobs. South central Idaho has the next largest share at just 15 percent. The southwestern region’s 10 counties are diverse and include the state’s largest metropolitan area, Boise, remote small counties with logging traditions and vast counties citing its greatest population density as sagebrush and four-legged beef cattle. The share of manufacturing jobs in southwestern Idaho is higher than the nation’s by 4 percent but ranks fifth in share among Idaho’s six regions — the other five regions have significantly fewer total jobs than southwestern Idaho. The trend is showing some downward movement due to reduced production by large tech employers such as HP and Micron.
Fatbeam LLC – a Coeur d’Alene-based fiber provider – is introducing a new product called Cloudbeam, which will allow its customers to connect securely to cloud services. Cloudbeam will function as Fatbeam’s proprietary alternative to VPN (virtual private network) services. Source: Journal of Business
Engel & Volkers, a German-based international luxury real estate brokerage, has opened an office in Coeur d’Alene with plans for a Sandpoint office in 2021. Source: Journal of Business
Quest Integration Inc., a Post Falls technology firm providing support for the manufacture and design of 3D printers, has been acquired by Hawk Ridge Systems, a California-based manufacturer of 3D printing systems. Quest will continue to operate under that name during the integration process but will eventually operate under the Hawk Ridge name. Source: Journal of Business
Idaho was in its third longest period of economic expansion when COVID-19 reached the state and Gov. Brad Little proclaimed an emergency.
The economic shutdown that followed impacted the nation and Idaho full force in late March and in April as the state’s record low, 2.5 percent unemployment rate soared to a historic high of 11.8 percent.
After April’s COVID-19 economic shockwave, the economy gradually reopened from May through June as the Rebound Idaho Plan progressed through its four stages. Dramatic improvements to the state’s jobs and labor force statistics followed suit and by July had clearly emerged with one of the least affected economies by the pandemic in the nation.
Read the report on Idaho’s Rebound from Labor economists and analysts for more details on Idaho’s recovery since the record high unemployment in April.