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.
Tamarack Aerospace Group, which successfully emerged from bankruptcy this year, is expanding its operations by adding a hanger and additional office space in Sandpoint, as well as a new facility in the United Kingdom. The new hanger space will be used for the installation of Tamarack’s fuel-efficiency boosting jet winglets. Source: Journal of Business
Construction is underway on a new five-story, 62-unit apartment complex in Coeur d’Alene’s Riverstone development. Completion is anticipated for fall, 2021. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Coeur d’Alene City Council voted to demolish two abandoned hotels in the city. The hotels were acquired by the city in a land swap with the local charity organization St. Vincent de Paul. A new use has not been confirmed for the land currently occupied by the hotels, but public parking and a pocket park have been suggested by the city’s planning officials. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Public schools in Coeur d’Alene have pushed back the start of school to Sept. 14 and will begin with a blended learning approach that combines online learning with classroom time. Students will attend school in person on alternate days (determined alphabetically by last name) to halve classroom size on any given day. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
In economics, it can often seem that nothing happens for years at a time, only for years’ worth of change to happen all at once. The economy, in other words, can seem stable – or even boring – until suddenly it is not. In Idaho, for example, the changes in total nonfarm employment in April, May and June 2020 exceeded (in absolute terms) all the changes that occurred from 2015 to the end of 2019. Owing to the pandemic shock of COVID-19, three months saw more volatility in Idaho’s labor market than the preceding four years.
When economic events gain velocity, especially in the face of a serious recession, a variety of labor market indicators take on new importance, especially those updated monthly or even weekly, rather than quarterly or annually. Several labor market indicators can add to a real time understanding of economic conditions as a supplement to the Department of Labor’s headline statistics like unemployment rates and nonfarm employment numbers.
The annual Paul Bunyan Days festival in St. Maries has been cancelled due to COVID-19. The four-day event is normally held around Labor Day to celebrate St. Maries’ logging community. This is the first time in the 51-year history of the festival that it has been cancelled. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The Panhandle Health District approved a public mask mandate for Kootenai County. The mandate will make it a misdemeanor to be in public places without a mask in situations where social distancing is not possible. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
StanCraft has expanded its development plans at the Coeur d’Alene Airport to include an additional hanger. The Hayden-based company has been building facilities for the retrofitting and customization of jet interiors, with two previously planned hangers expected to come online this fall and a new third hanger now planned for 2021. Source: Journal of Business
Fernan Lake has been placed under a public health advisory due to a toxic algae bloom. Residents and recreators have been advised to avoid contact with the water until the algae have subsided. Source: Spokesman Review
The 416,000 Idahoans who are in their 50s and 60s face many challenges because of the coronavirus economic impact.
Loss of business income. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly reduced revenues of many Idaho businesses. It also is likely to lead to the permanent closure of some businesses, especially restaurants, entertainment operations, lodging and retail stores. Since older adults are more likely to run their own businesses, they are disproportionately impacted. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 24 percent of American workers 65 years and older are self-employed, while 15 percent of workers 55 to 64 years are self-employed. In comparison, 8 percent of workers under 55 are self-employed.
Joblessness. About 16 percent of Idaho’s 162,000 payroll workers 55 years and over filed new unemployment insurance claims between March 15 and June 13. Some returned to work within a month, but others experienced two or three months of joblessness.
Coeur d’Alene internet provider Intermax Networks has expanded into the Spokane market by acquiring Telwest Inc., a Spokane-based telecommunications provider. Source: Journal of Business
Kootenai County is on the shortlist of potential sites for a new manufacturing plant KORE Power – a battery manufacturer – is planning to build in the United States. KORE’s corporate operations are already located in Coeur d’Alene, but their manufacturing operations are currently in China. KORE plans to build a new plant in the United States which will employ roughly 3,000 people once fully operational. Source: CDA Press
A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency highlighted the successful completion of a variety of cleanup projects related to the Bunker Hill Superfund Site and laid out plans for an additional $20 million in cleanup work and construction through the end of 2020. Source: CDA Press
The fallout from COVID-19 has Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate soaring from a record low of 2.5 percent in March to a record high of 11.8 percent in April. With the lockdown phasing out in late May and early June in most of the state, many jobs are being restored. But the Idaho economy, as well as economies around the globe, may not rebound completely for some time.
More than one in four young Idahoans lost jobs
Teens and young adults experienced the most job losses during the first 10 weeks of the crisis. More than one in four (25.6 percent) Idaho workers under 35 years old filed new unemployment insurance claims between March 15 and May 23, while 15.7 of workers 35 years and older filed new claims.
Why did young people encounter especially large unemployment spikes? Youth make up a large proportion of the workforce of the two sectors with the most layoffs – leisure & hospitality and retail – which together accounted for 28 percent of all new unemployment claims. People under age 35 held 60 percent of leisure and hospitality jobs and 43 percent of retail jobs in 2019, according to the Census Bureau’s Quarterly Workforce Indicators. Youth are less likely to hold the managerial and professional jobs that could be done at home. In addition, employers typically lay off less experienced workers, while keeping those with greater seniority.