There are signs that the economy is improving – declining unemployment rates and new jobs. And many of those new jobs are in retail trade, which promises strong growth. It is the second largest employment sector behind government with just over 80,000 workers – about one in every eight across the state.
Retail growth can be a barometer of how the economy is doing. Generally when people have more disposable income retail sales grow and more workers are needed to meet that demand.
Here is a roundup of economic news compiled by the Idaho Department of Labor in July:
- Premera Blue Cross, the Inland Northwest’s largest health plan provider, has been boosting its workforce to handle implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act next year and to support the state-run Washington Health Benefit Exchange, which begins operating in October. The Spokane office has expanded from 445 to 575 this spring and should reach 600 by the end of the year.
- Parker Motor Group in Post Falls is making big changes. The Subaru dealership will move to the former Tom Addis Dodge complex in August. The current Parker Subaru complex will become Parker Volkswagen and will open in September. The Parker Toyota dealership remains with 162 employees and 450 vehicles. The Subaru dealership has 44 employees and 150 cars, and the VW complex will have 25 people and about 100 cars.