Category Archives: Employment News

Around Idaho: Economic Activity in August 2019

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
Southeastern
Eastern Idaho

 

NORTHERN IDAHO – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone counties

Bonner County

  • Tamarack Aerospace Group is moving forward with its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and received U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval to move forward with a financing plan that will allow the company to resume its sales. Source: Spokane-Kootenai Journal of Business

Kootenai County

  • TDS Metrocom, a Wisconsin-based telecommunications company, has begun constructing a new fiber optic network in Coeur d’Alene, which will eventually offer high-speed residential connectivity. TDS currently has a staff of 11 people in Coeur d’Alene, but expects to ramp up to as many as 200 employees by 2022, at which point the company anticipates having installed more than 700 miles of fiber. Eventually, TDS expects to be able to serve roughly 48,000 residences and business in Kootenai County. Source: Spokane-Kootenai Journal of Business
  • The city of Post Falls is moving forward to create a 548-acre urban renewal district encompassing the city’s downtown district. A report from the city council noted that 151 of the 674 structures in the district were in a state of deterioration, while the area also suffered from a lack of sidewalks, unfinished streets and underdeveloped tracts. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The Red Lion Templin’s Hotel in Post Falls is undergoing a complete renovation by its new owners, KVA Management. Improvements include a renovation of all 163 guestrooms, a renovated lobby and a new restaurant and kitchen. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Openings

  • Sawmill Grille in Post Falls
  • Beau Monde Luxe in Coeur d’Alene
  • Farmhouse 208

Sam.Wolkenhauer@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

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Idaho Stores Grow Despite ‘Retail Apocalypse’

Idaho retail employment grew 2.5 percent between 2016 and 2018, despite a national spate of store closures and employment declines.

With many retail chains closing hundreds of stores across the U.S., headlines about a “retail apocalypse” have appeared on news sites. Last year, according to Coresight Research, 5,524 stores across the United States closed. In the first eight months of this year, 8,051 closed. This year closures could exceed the record set in 2017, when 8,139 stores were shuttered. Challenger, Gray & Christmas counts 53,248 announced retail job cuts for the first half of this year, compared with 98,563 for all of last year.

Between 2016 and 2018, employment in U.S. retail stores fell 0.2 percent, while employment at Idaho’s retail stores grew 2.5 percent, from 81,265 to 83,330. Between June 2018 and June 2019, retail store jobs in the U.S. fell 0.5 percent, while they rose 1.8 percent in Idaho, adding 1,600 jobs.

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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in July 2019

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
Southeastern
Eastern Idaho

 

NORTHERN IDAHO – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone counties

Bonner County

  • Tamarack Aerospace, a Sandpoint-based manufacturer of airplane winglets, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company has reduced its staff from 25 at the beginning of the year to 16. It will continue to operate after entering the reorganization bankruptcy. Source: Journal of Business

Kootenai County

  • Hayden-based manufacturer StanCraft Boat Co. is moving forward with construction of its new Jet Center at the Coeur d’Alene Airport. Representatives for StanCraft, which manufactures luxury watercraft, characterized the move to redo jet interiors as a natural dovetail from their current business. The Jet Center is scheduled to open in the spring of 2020. Source: Journal of Business
  • Northwest Specialty Hospital in Post Falls has opened a new Endoscopy Center. The new wing adds nearly 9,000 square feet to the facility, adding procedure rooms and post-operative care space. Source: Journal of Business
  • The city of Post Falls has agreed to purchase 10 acres of right-of-way from Union Pacific Railroad as part of an ongoing effort to eliminate the rail spur line so that the Prairie Trail can be extended northward. The trail extension project is intended to improve the connectivity of the region as well as improve public safety by eliminating multiple public rail crossings. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Sam.Wolkenhauer@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in June 2019

Information provided in this article is from professional sources, news releases, weekly and daily newspapers, television and other media.

Northern Idaho
North Central Idaho
Southwestern Idaho
South Central Idaho
Southeastern
Eastern Idaho

 

NORTHERN IDAHO – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone counties

Kootenai County

  • Seattle-based hardware retailer Hardwick and Sons is moving to Post Falls after nearly 90 years in Seattle’s University District. The store’s owners cited a growing tax burden in Washington as their primary motivation for relocating to northern Idaho. Source: Journal of Business
  • Gunfighters LLC, a gun holster manufacturer based in central Washington, is relocating its operations to Rathdrum. The company cited a more “gun-friendly culture” in Idaho, as well as a lack of space in their current facilities, as their reasons for moving to northern Idaho. Source: Journal of Business
  • A new jet center owned and operated by StanCraft is set to open at the Coeur d’Alene airport. The facility, which will create about 50 jobs, will be used to update aircraft and serve as a fueling station. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The Coeur d’Alene City Council approved plans to build a $2.6 million water administration building. The project will be funded entirely with the Water Department’s reserve funds. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The city of Athol received a Community Development Block Grant from the Idaho Department of Commerce to support a $3.5 million water improvement project. City officials initiated the improvement project, noting that the city’s aging water system lacks the necessary pressure to meet Idaho environmental quality requirements. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

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Measuring Underemployment in Idaho’s Counties

The unemployment rate speaks to labor market conditions including the availability of labor and the level of economic distress. But the unemployed are not the only potential pool of new hires and not the only ones experiencing economic distress.

The official definition of “unemployed” includes only those people who are jobless and have actively looked for work in the past month. “Marginally attached workers” are jobless, want to work, but have given up looking for work because they believe there are no jobs currently available for them. Then there are the workers who want to work full time but currently are working part time (less than 35 hours a week) because they are unable to find full-time jobs.

Recognizing these other forms of labor market distress, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has developed six alternative measures of labor underutilization. Find the BLS measures and descriptions at https://www.bls.gov/lau/stalt.htm.

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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in May 2019

Information provided in this article is from professional sources, news releases, weekly and daily newspapers, television and other media.

Northern Idaho
North Central Idaho
Southwestern Idaho
South Central Idaho
Southeastern
Eastern Idaho

 

NORTHERN IDAHO – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone counties

Kootenai County

  • TDS Metrocom, a high-speed internet service provider, announced it will be expanding to Kootenai County over the next three years, bringing gigabit-speed internet to commercial and residential customers. The company plans to grow its Kootenai operation in stages, with initial hiring of about 30 employees before ramping up to a full scale of roughly 200 workers by the end of 2022. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Kitchen Solvers – a Wisconsin-based retailer of cabinets, flooring and tiles – has leased a new location in the Riverbend complex in Post Falls and plans to open a new franchise location to serve Kootenai County. Source: Spokane-Kootenai Journal of Business
  • Cereset, a wellness company, has opened a new franchise in Coeur d’Alene. The company uses non-invasive therapies to help patients mitigate stress and improve their sleep habits. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Two new automobile dealerships opened in Coeur d’Alene. Both Amstutz Family Auto and High Caliber Auto Sales opened used car dealerships and full-service repair shops. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The city of Post Falls announced plans to turn a former thrift store location into a recreation center, which will support community activities and classes including dancing, gymnastics and adult fitness activities. The city expects the outdoor facilities – including soccer fields and children’s spaces – to open in the fall, with the indoor facilities following in the winter. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Openings

  • Mountain America Credit Union in Post Falls
  • Paragon Brewing in Coeur d’Alene
  • Relax and Recover Wellness Center in Coeur d’Alene
  • Newhomes in Coeur d’Alene

Sam.Wolkenhauer@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

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Idaho’s Forest Products Sector: Hopeful for Stable 2019

Forest products, a traditional mainstay sector in Idaho, continues to play an important role in many Idaho communities. Idaho’s forest products sector — logging, wood product mills, paper factories and furniture manufacturing — provided more than 11,700 jobs in 2018. In addition, a few thousand more worked at trucking companies transporting logs, wood products and pulp.

Employment has grown 35 percent from the recession-caused low point of 8,705 in 2010, but it is still 18 percent below its 2006 peak of 14,327 and far below its heyday in the 1970s.

Source: Idaho Department of Labor

The job losses mostly resulted from the impact of technology, which allows a mill to produce twice as much lumber today as it did 25 years ago with the same number of workers and from reduced timber harvests from Forest Service land following changes in policies that occurred in the 1990s. From 1990 to 2000, the timber harvest on federal lands in Idaho fell from 704 million to 149 million board feet.

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Idaho Population Shift from Rural to Urban Counties Continued in 2018

In-Migration Accounted for 73 Percent of Idaho’s Population Increase

Idaho’s population continued to become more urbanized from mid-2017 to mid-2018, with nearly 73 percent of the growth coming from outside the state, newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows. The data provides additional detail at the county level to the January release that showed Idaho’s 2.1 percent population increase tied with Nevada as the fastest-growing state in the nation.

The Boise Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) population grew by 2.9 percent – the eighth fastest among the nation’s 383 other MSAs. The five counties that comprise the Boise MSA – Ada, Boise, Canyon, Gem and Owyhee counties – increased by 20,346 people accounting for 58 percent of the state’s total increase of 35,304. The concentration of more than half of Idaho’s growth in the Boise MSA typifies the continued steady shift toward urbanization of the state’s population from rural to urban counties.

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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in April 2019

Information provided in this article is from professional sources, news releases, weekly and daily newspapers, television and other media.

Northern Idaho
North Central Idaho
Southwestern Idaho
South Central Idaho
Southeastern
Eastern Idaho

 

NORTHERN IDAHO – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone counties

Kootenai County

  • Post Falls based manufacturer Quest Integration Inc. leased a new facility in the Tedder Office Park and plans to expand its 3D printing operations with the new space. Source: Spokane-Kootenai Journal of Business
  • Washington-based Crawl Space Cleaning Pros has leased warehousing space in Post Falls and is in the process of opening its first Idaho location. The company specializes in environmentally friendly cleanup and insulation of crawl spaces. Source: Spokane-Kootenai Journal of Business
  • After a series of public hearings, the Coeur d’Alene Panning Commission approved plans for a new apartment complex in the city’s Riverstone development. The new complex will feature five-story apartment blocks as part of the city’s recent move toward higher-density construction. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Kootenai County released a proposed update of its comprehensive plan, titled Keeping Kootenai, for community input. In 2010, the county released a strategic plan which consisted of 347 different goals and policy statements, which county officials said were difficult to interpret and implement. The new strategic plan is designed to be simplified and streamlined for ease of implementation. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Sam.Wolkenhauer@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

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Idaho Construction Employment Building Back to Pre-Recession Level

The level of construction activity is one of many indicators that signal the health of an economy. Currently, Idaho’s scenery is dotted with construction projects ranging from heavy construction infrastructure ventures to commercial buildings to single- and multi-family homes and residential housing projects.

This was not the case after the Great Recession (December 2007 to June 2009) squelched Idaho’s strong housing industry, resulting in a loss of almost 23,000 jobs based on quarterly employer reports to the Idaho Department of Labor. Construction was one of the hardest hit industries during that time and continues to rebuild in all six Idaho regions.

Idaho’s construction industry has grown by 127 percent from 1991-2018. It has experienced more periods of growth than downturns in jobs since 1991, as shown in Chart 1.

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