Category Archives: Labor Market

Idaho’s small employer establishments continue to grow

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%.Table: Employer establishments by number of employees as of 3rdQ 2022

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Idaho’s February unemployment rate down to 2.6%


For Immediate Release: March 24, 2023
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Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.6% in February, edging down from January’s revised rate of 2.7%.

January’s labor force – workers who are employed or unemployed but looking for work – increased by 1,681 people (0.2%) to 958,117.

Idaho’s labor force participation was unchanged between January and February, remaining at 62.6%.

Total employment increased by 2,237 (0.2%) to 932,972 as unemployment decreased by 556 (-2.2%) to 25,145.

Idaho’s nonfarm jobs increased by 1,100 to 845,100 in February. Industry sectors with the greatest over-the-month gains include state government (4.7%), wholesale trade (2.2%), federal government (1.5%), information (1.1%), other services (1.1%), private education services (0.6%), and health care and social services (0.5%). Continue reading

Idaho’s January unemployment rate down to 2.7%


For Immediate Release: March 13, 2023
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Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.7% in January, edging down from the revised 2.8% rate in December.

December 2022’s unemployment rate was revised down from 2.9% due to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual benchmarking process. This realignment of labor market variables is not an indicator of any changes in the state’s economy. (More information about the benchmarking process can be found below.)

January’s labor force – workers who are employed or unemployed but looking for work – increased by 1,593 people (0.2%) to 956,389.

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Report explores new private housing permits authorized in Idaho

As an area’s population grows, so does the demand for housing, which means rising prices and growing incentive for developers to build.

photo: house under construction; apartment building 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.

A report delving more deeply into the topic, ” The composition of new private housing permits authorized in Idaho” can be found on the Idaho Department of Labor website.


This Idaho Department of Labor report is 100% funded by USDOL as part of an Employment and Training Administration award totaling $1,039,383.

Around Idaho: Economic Activity, February 2023

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
Eastern Idaho


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

Kootenai County

  • 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

Openings – Post Falls

  • North Idaho Urology
  • BoxDrop Mattress and Furniture
  • St Joseph’s Ear, Nose, Throat, and Allergy Clinic
  • Dog House Grooming
  • North Idaho Floors

Coeur d’Alene

  • Blythe Anchor
  • JIK Printshop


    • Revival Wellness, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

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Idaho’s wage growth driven by lower income earners

While average wage gains seem to fit in an orderly pattern over the past 10 years, large differences exist in how these gains have been distributed among lower and higher wage earners.

Average wage increases provide one view of an economy’s current situation but looking at wages by percentiles shows where hourly income growth and declines are occurring.

Each percentile represents 1% of the labor force with hourly wages arranged in order from least to greatest. For example, the 10th percentile represents wages paid to the lowest 10% of the labor population. Wages in the 90th percentile are those paid to 90% of the working population. Any wages above the 90th percentile represent the top 10% of total wage earners.

The 50th percentile, also called the median, represents the midpoint value in a data series where half of the values (wages in this case) are below and half are above. The median differs from the average, which is calculated by adding up all the individual values and dividing the total by the number of values. The average wage may be a great tool for gauging overall change trends, but this figure can also be skewed by significant outliers on either extreme of wage distribution.

This analysis focuses on Idaho’s median wages for each of the percentiles reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: 10%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 90%.

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2021 Census estimates show Idaho’s urban cities continue to see population gains


For Immediate Release: June 1, 2022
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Four southwestern Idaho cities ranked in the top five slots for population growth in the state from 2020 to 2021 according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 Vintage Population Estimates.* Idaho Falls, ranked fourth and was the lone city outside of southwestern Idaho to rank in the top five.

Boise remained Idaho’s largest city, followed by Meridian, Nampa, Idaho Falls and Caldwell. Meridian edged out Nampa as Idaho’s second largest city in 2014 with the population difference increasing each year. Rankings for the top 15 Idaho cities by population size are shown in Table 1, with one change from 2020 — Kuna displaced Moscow for the No.13 spot.

Nationally, Meridian, Caldwell and Nampa ranked 13, 14 and 15 of the fastest-growing cities of 50,000 residents or more across the U.S., each at or above 5% growth rate.

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Idaho population projected to top 2 million by 2031

Recent population projections from the Idaho Department of Labor anticipate Idaho will continue its record of rapid growth, with the total statewide population crossing over 2 million for the first time by 2031.

The 2020 Census revealed the Gem State was the second-fastest growing state in the nation over the decade from 2010 to 2020, and single-year population estimates have ranked Idaho as the fastest-growing state for the past five years.

Idaho’s Labor Department’s latest projections anticipate a statewide growth rate of 1.1% per year over the 10-year period from 2021 to 2031, adding a total of 227,880 new residents to the state. This will raise Idaho’s population from 1,888,533 in 2021 to 2,116,413 in 2031.

All six of Idaho’s substate regions are expected to grow over the coming decade, with southwestern Idaho leading at 16.3% projected growth, followed by northern Idaho at 13%. These two regions together are expected to account for more than three quarters of the state’s total growth.

TABLE 1: Projected population growth by region

Projected Population Growth by Idaho Region

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