Idaho’s construction industry was one of the hardest hit during the Great Recession. At the start of the recession in 2007, there were 650 construction industry employers in southeastern Idaho with an average of at least one employee. By 2013, more than half had no employment records, meaning most likely the employer went out of business or moved out of the region. The number of start-up construction companies in southeastern Idaho also declined in the same period.
Southeastern Idaho Construction Industry Post-Recession
Since the trough of 2013, southeastern Idaho construction employment has been in recovery and the number of construction start-ups have been on the rise, but the industry has a long way to go. Between 2013 and 2017, construction employment grew by 17 percent – a net growth of 460 jobs. The 3,167 construction jobs in 2017, however still is 20 percent – or nearly 800 jobs – below the employment levels of the industry’s peak in 2007.
In response to substantial flooding in Lake Pend Oreille and the Pend Oreille River, strict no-wake zones are being enforced to mitigate property damage. The new rules impose a no-wake zone up to 500 feet from the shore. Source: Bonner County Daily Bee
Idaho Central Credit Union is constructing a new office in Coeur d’Alene. The $8.6 million building will house a full service credit union branch and business and mortgage lenders along with administrative staff. The new Coeur d’Alene office will be ICCU’s fourth Kootenai County branch. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
Hayden-based Blackstone Properties is constructing a new 65,000-square-foot storage facility in Hayden. The complex will offer ministorage, along with boat and RV storage. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
Silverwood Theme Park had its full-time opening May 28 followed by Boulder Beach, which opened June 9. The theme park is hiring roughly 1,500 people for its summertime operations and noted that preseason ticket sales have surpassed projections. Park management believes this portends potentially record attendance. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
Marimm Health – the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s health agency – has revealed plans to build a $15.8 million youth center in Worley. Marimm said the goal of the project is to reduce high crime and substance abuse rates among the youth in Worley and its outlying areas. Source: St. Maries Gazette Record
Rocky Mountain Liquidation – a Hayden-based overstock retailer – has opened a second retail outlet in the Riverbend Commerce Park in Post Falls. The store sells consumer goods like clothing and housewares that are acquired as overstock from major retailers. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
The Coeur d’Alene Resort announced a timeline to complete an extensive round of renovations in May. The resort is improving all 338 of its guest rooms. These improvements include new carpeting, furnishings, and renovations to the pool and fitness center. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
Hayden-based Empire Airlines has announced a collaboration with FedEx to train pilots. The program – called the FedEx Express Pathways Purple Runway Program – aims to recruit pilots from universities and aviation colleges and train them for advancement in the FedEx fleet. Empire Airlines provides air cargo services for FedEx. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
Innovative Electrical Solutions LLC – an electrical contractor – has leased a new complex in Hayden where it plans to consolidate its operations, which are currently distributed across multiple office and warehousing spaces in Kootenai County. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
Kootenai County Commissioners voted 2-1 to change the county building permit system to allow residential builders to opt-out of acquiring permits. The opt-out provision will apply only to buildings in unincorporated areas. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Demolition has begun on the former Wild Waters waterpark. The park has been closed since 2010, but the demolition of the park and the leveling of the lot will finally allow the property to be placed on the market. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Prairie West Crossing developers formally unveiled their proposal for a technology park in north Post Falls. The Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing on the proposal, which includes multiple zoning and annexation actions on the part of the city. The technology park is designed to attract technology and aerospace manufacturers to Post Falls. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Construction has begun on a $12 million expansion and improvements at Kootenai Health. The project, which will add an additional inpatient unit at the hospital, is scheduled for completion in early 2019. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
Salmon Electrical Contractors – a Utah-based general, electrical and mechanical contractor – has expanded to Kootenai County, after leasing a new facility in Hayden. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
Smart Law LLC, a new company that conducts real estate transactions through the Ehtereum Cryptocurrency network, has opened an office in Hayden. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
Construction is underway on a new two story commercial building in Coeur d’Alene’s Riverstone development. Coeur d’Alene-based Orthopedic Physical Therapy Institute will occupy the ground floor, while the second floor remains available for a future tenant. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
As with the rest of the nation, accurately estimating the size of the gig economy in Idaho remains a challenge. While measures such as part-time employment and self-employment show unimpressive growth trends, other indicators like the growth of staffing agencies and nonemployer establishments tell a different and perhaps more believable story – the gig economy in Idaho is alive and growing.
What is a gig?
The word “gig” spontaneously invokes images of bar bands, freelance writers, Uber drivers and TaskRabbit workers. A common thread with these workers is that work is on-demand and oftentimes uncertain. The formal definition of a gig, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is “a single project or task for which a worker is hired, often through a digital marketplace, to work on demand.”
Not only can gigs vary in frequency, duration and skill level, the gig worker can have many faces as well. One gig worker could be self-employed with one or multiple gigs forming the bulk of his/her income; another could be a part-time worker using gigs to supplement traditional employment. These variances are part of the difficulties faced in estimating the size of the gig economy and workforce.
Proxy datasets used to represent the gig economy capitalize on some of the typical elements of gig work namely that gig workers are often part-time, contingent workers and are self-employed. These datasets are imperfect indicators that offer only a glimpse of this gig economy. The following are some of these indicators.
CDA 2030 has contracted with a Chicago-based consulting firm to conduct a market analysis and feasibility study for a potential performing arts and events center in Coeur d’Alene. The study is being jointly funded by CDA 2030 and the city’s urban renewal agency, Ignite CDA. CDA 2030 is a community-based project created to develop a vision for a bright future for greater Coeur d’Alene. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal agency, Ignite CDA, has proposed creating a new redevelopment district. The proposal specifies a new district of 54 acres in west Coeur d’Alene along the Spokane River. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
Construction has begun on a new 47-unit apartment complex in Coeur d’Alene. The rentals, located across the street from the city library, will be marketed to middle- and upper-income tenants. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
Construction is underway on a new two story commercial building in Coeur d’Alene’s Riverstone development. The Coeur d’Alene-based Orthopedic Physical Therapy Institute will occupy the ground floor while the second floor remains available for a future tenant. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
Construction has begun on a $7.3 million parking structure in downtown Coeur d’Alene. The 360-space garage is being spearheaded by the city’s urban renewal agency, Ignite CDA, which notes that constrained parking space presents a barrier to the redevelopment of many properties downtown. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
A $6 million medical building is under construction in the Riverstone development in Coeur d’Alene. North Idaho Dermatology will occupy part of the building when it is completed later in 2018. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
Kootenai Health has begun a $4.3 million renovation involving at least 17,000 square feet and three departments in its main hospital building in Coeur d’Alene. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
SmaK Plastics – a Vancouver-based manufacturer with a facility in Coeur d’Alene – announced plans to expand its northern Idaho workforce. SmaK currently employs 18 people in its Coeur d’Alene facility, but plans to expand to roughly 40 by the second quarter of 2018. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
The agricultural sector in Idaho plays a major role in the state economy, contributing $3 billion – about 5 percent of the total state gross domestic product.
Idaho is ranked first in the nation in the production of potatoes and barley – the state production accounts for more than 30 percent of the national production – and ranks fourth in the nation for milk and milk cow production. Farm productivity continues to advance and exports are increasing, yet farm income has fallen over the past several years. In the face of declining profit margins, low agriculture commodity prices and a farm labor supply shortage, the farmworker demographic is undergoing a change.
Agricultural Labor Worker Types
Source: Idaho Department of Labor
Agricultural labor estimates show a stable and consistent pattern of seasonal farm employment with peaks around October each year. In 2016, average annual employment was 51,240 with a peak employment of 61,100 in October 2016. Continue reading →
Several area ski resorts have begun their winter seasons. Lookout Pass opened the first weekend of November, while Silver Mountain and Schweitzer opened Thanksgiving weekend. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
Water Solutions Inc. is building an office building with an attached manufacturing space in Rathdrum. The company, which sells drinking water purification units, began as a sole proprietorship in 2001 in Rathdrum and anticipates a workforce expansion commensurate with their growing business and new facilities. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
The city of Hayden issued building permits for a $13.7 million, 96-unit apartment complex. The complex is the first phase in a larger development plan by Coeur d’Alene-based Hayden Village LLC, which will eventually develop 64.4 acres in Hayden. Source: Spokane Journal of Business