Small businesses continue to be the core drivers of employment growth throughout Idaho when considering both new establishments and overall contribution to total employment. However, large entities may have had more success in recruitment during the tight labor market of the past year due to name recognition, overall position growth and movement within the company, along with larger job listing budgets.
The average employer establishment in Idaho had approximately 11-12 workers over the past year, and more than 90% of Idaho’s covered employers have hired fewer than 20 people per year on average over the past four quarters.
Key employment metrics based on employer size for the past 12 months as of third quarter 2022:
92% of Idaho’s employers hired fewer than 20 employees.
Fewer than 200 employers in Idaho hired more than 500 employees. These large employers make up less than 1% of total employers who pay unemployment insurance taxes but 27% of total statewide employment.
Idaho added nearly 6,000 employer establishments in the year ending Sept. 30, 2022, with 97% of them having fewer than 20 employees and all in the private sector.
One-year share of total employment by industry: professional and business services 33%, financial activities 12%, construction 12%, and health care and social assistance 10%.
Every March 17, Ireland venerates the St. Patrick with a public holiday on the anniversary of his death. While not a public holiday in the U.S., it is a day of celebration for many. It is the occasion to have a little ‘craic’ (news/gossip/entertainment) in homage to the Irish with food and drink that, if not Irish, is perhaps green in color, all while wearing green clothes. In the world of statistics and demographics, it’s a reason for another analysis highlighting the local connection — or lack thereof — to the Emerald Island.
A total of 31.5 million people in the U.S. (9.5%) claim Irish ancestry and outnumber the current Irish population by six to one. This means that every person in Ireland has six people in the U.S. (on average) eager to tell them they’re Irish, too, and to ask if they knew their sweet ancestor born in the County Kerry, County Mayo, County Limerick or (pick your county of Ireland here).
Employee layoffs are not uncommon when a U.S. company offshores some of its production or is sold to an international firm that does similar work in a foreign country.
That’s when employers and employees can seek out career transition support for their laid-off employees through the Trade Act Assistance program (TAA). TAA is a federal program administered by the U.S Department of Labor that provides services and benefits to workers who lose their jobs due foreign trade.
Various industries – such as manufacturing – might typically be affected by a foreign trade issue due to the ebb and flow of product supply. If layoffs occur as a result, businesses should know these layoffs don’t need to be devastating for their employees.
Not all government grant programs are designed for businesses, nonprofits, educational institutions or local governments. Personal government grants are also available for individuals — Idaho citizens, including students, veterans, homeowners and remote workers, among others.
Personal government grants are usually based on supply of available funding and eligibility requirements. These grants are intended to provide a meaningful benefit to the local economy by creating opportunity, making housing more affordable, educating workers and raising wages.
Currently, more jobs exist than there are job seekers looking for work. Even among active job seekers, job seekers may not have the requisite skills to fill these positions. Grant program funding that supports education and training benefit both employers and job seekers.
Personal education grants
With personal education grants, people can enhance their job skills while contributing to a larger supply of candidates for Idaho’s talent pool. Idaho Launch is one such program, providing funds to promote wider accessibility to training for Idahoans — from high school graduates to mid-career workers.
As an area’s population grows, so does the demand for housing, which means rising prices and growing incentive for developers to build.
At that point housing developers face a choice of what type of housing to build. Single family units? Multi-unit structures? This decision can be based on several factors — from household preferences and incomes, geographic constraints, as well as government policies such as taxes, subsidies and regulations.
Publicly available data on authorized permits for new privately owned housing units helps to visualize this decision, mainly by organizing permits into size classes (single-unit vs. multi-unit structures) and average permit valuation per unit.
Developers in Idaho, like the nation overall, are biased towards building higher-valued, single-unit structures, though lower-valued, multi-unit structures have been growing in share.
Kootenai Health is opening a new urgent care clinic in Coeur d’Alene in partnership with the MultiCare Health System’s Indigo Urgent Care network. In 2022, Kootenai Urgent Care had more than 55,000 visits across its three locations. The new clinic will help distribute the caseload and reduce wait times. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Hayden Canyon Charter school has completed a major expansion project which doubled the available space in the school. The charter school has seen a large increase in applications in recent years and has had student counts limited by available classrooms. The new expansion will increase the capacity by up to 100 incoming first and second grade students, bringing the school’s total capacity up to nearly 600 students. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
North Idaho College (NIC) received a downgrade in its bond ratings from Moody’s Investor Service amid ongoing questions about the college’s accreditation status and governance ambiguity. NIC’s issuer rating was downgraded from A3 to A1, and the revenue bond rating was dropped from A3 to A2. Moody’s cited “a continuing period of significant governance and management dysfunction.” Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
In 2020 Ada County posted a net migration loss within Idaho. Simply stated, more Idaho residents moved out than moved in.
Inbound migration to the state’s most populous county from other parts of Idaho totaled 8,039, while outbound migrants numbered 10,610 for a net migration loss of 2,571. Where did they go?
Figure 1: Ada County largest net migration losses, 2020
Source: IRS data accessed through Lightcast.io, Feb. 14, 2023
With the exception of outflows to Idaho County, the largest number of Ada County residents migrated to counties within the commute shed – an area within a 30-minute commute – with 1,874 leaving for neighboring Canyon County.
New short-term employment projections from the Idaho Department of Labor show Idaho’s healthy rate of job creation is expected to continue over the next two years. Total employment in Idaho — including self-employed and family businesses — reached a new high of 854,474 in the base period in 2022. This is projected to grow by 1.4% annually, reaching 878,100 in 2024.
The robustness and consistency of Idaho’s labor market has been a shining light in past years, with the state consistently leading the country in job growth. In 2020, COVID-19 led to significant job losses in a very short period of time — with almost all job losses occurring in March and April, but Idaho demonstrated its economic vitality with a quick rebound, returning to rapid job growth the following year. In fact, job growth in Idaho has been so strong that, even with the setback in 2020 during the pandemic, total employment in 2022 still reached and even exceeded forecasts.
Figure 1: Total employment in Idaho 2016-2022, with Idaho Labor 2024 projection
Winter weather is well underway in Idaho, bringing long-anticipated seasonal recreation to residents as well as many people across the U.S. who come to Idaho to experience the state’s top-tier ski resorts.
But despite high traffic and the boon to the surrounding economy, Idaho’s biggest winter recreation destinations face housing challenges for workers, especially those in the service sector.
Idaho ski resorts visits and staffing
Schweitzer Mountain above Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho
Nearly half (47.5%) of Idaho ski area visitors came from out of state in the winter of 2020-21 according to a report commissioned by Ski Idaho . The report highlighted Idaho ski resorts as a regional point of pride that attracts visitors from all over the United States, giving this industry an increased customer base.
For the first time, three of Idaho’s ski resorts were listed in SKI Magazine’s 2023 top 30 ski resorts in the West — Sun Valley at No. 1 (third year in a row), Schweitzer at No. 11 and Grand Targhee at No. 24 . Although officially located in Wyoming, many visitors to Grand Targhee stay, dine and shop on the Idaho side of Teton Valley.
The Idaho Department of Lands purchased 18,050 acres of timberland spread around the five northern Idaho counties. The land, acquired for $50.4 million, will support state endowment beneficiaries, especially Idaho’s public schools, and boost long-term timber sales. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Great Homes of Idaho is now operating in Post Falls. A builder of manufactured and modular homes, Great Homes started in Missoula and has now expanded to northern Idaho. This new supply of affordable housing is greatly desirable, with Kootenai County experiencing serious shortages of workforce housing. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The Coeur d’Alene Airport is evaluating adding a commercial terminal. The current proposal would permit Avports, an airport operations management firm based in Virginia, to construct a new terminal, which would service commercial flights connecting northern Idaho to regional locations like Boise and Seattle. A measure is currently before the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners which would approve a 25-year lease for the project. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The Hayden City Council denied a zoning amendment which would have allowed for a new subdivision to be built on the arterial Ramsey and Hayden intersection. Council members cited serious traffic concerns. The city’s capital improvement plan has already identified the intersection as a priority for improvement. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press