Tag Archives: idaho economy

Hiring Challenges Point to a Need for more STEM Workers in Idaho

As Idaho’s employment projections indicate an increased demand for STEM jobs in the next decade, the state’s employers will face even more challenges when filling those positions in the near future if supply does not increase to match the growing need.

With record low unemployment rates in Idaho and the nation as a whole, help wanted ads have languished unfilled for longer stretches of time. Close to 70 percent of the job postings in a given month were unfilled/reposted from the previous month, and more than 50 percent of them have remained unfilled for more than 90 days.

Employers looking for STEM applicants are facing even tougher times given the relatively smaller pool of STEM workers available and the higher educational and training requirements for these jobs. Openings of lengthy duration can be interpreted – with some caution – as a shortage. In that case, targeted occupational and regional STEM training and education would have enormous benefits in addressing a growing need. Continue reading

Around Idaho: Economic Activity in September 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

Benewah County

  • Valley Vista Care, an assisted-living and nursing facility in St. Maries, has begun a $2.5 million expansion and improvement project. The work will upgrade the common areas of the facility as well as adding rooms for more residents and expanding the physical therapy facilities. Source: Journal of Business

Kootenai County

  • The city of Coeur d’Alene is considering forming an urban renewal district to create a health corridor around the Kootenai Health campus. A coalition including the city, Kootenai Health, and Ignite CDA (the city development corporation) is exploring ways an urban renewal district could be used to make infrastructure improvements to support a dense health care-centric development. Source: Journal of Business
  • Olson Saw Technology, a Pennsylvania based manufacturer, has acquired space in Post Falls for a new distribution center. The company produces machine knives and saw blades and anticipates becoming operational in Post Falls by the end of the year. Source: Journal of Business
  • Construction is underway on a new elementary school in Post Falls. The school, which has yet to be named, is scheduled for completion in time for the 2020 school year and will have an initial attendance of around 500 students. Source: Journal of Business
  • The Post Falls and Lakeland school districts have approved emergency levies to deal with growing enrollments. Virtually all schools in both districts have grown from last year, as Kootenai County’s population continues to grow. 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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How Similar is Idaho’s Economy to Other States?

For economic researchers and policymakers, mapping and analyzing the level of similarity between states and regions can be a useful exercise. By identifying the regions with close similarities, decision makers can help narrow their search for successful policies to use in their own communities. This article examines a common methodology for comparing statistical similarities, evaluates how similar Idaho’s economy is to that of the other 49 states and analyzes the overall usefulness of the results.

Using a variation of a common statistical method called a nearest neighbor analysis allows researchers to take a set of observations (in this case, the 50 states) and rank them in order of similarity. For this analysis, the method analyzes the economic composition of each state, based on the employment in each state across 285 different industries. Then the mix of industries in each state is compared according to the percentage of that state’s employment concentrated in that industry.

For example, in Idaho, 33 industry categories had no employees at all in 2018, including pipeline transportation and coal mining. At the other end of the spectrum, Idaho’s largest industry – restaurants – employed more than 52,000 people to make up more than 8 percent of Idaho’s total employment.

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Idaho’s August Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 2.9 Percent

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: Sept. 20, 2019
Information Contact: Craig Shaul (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201 or Karen Jarboe Singletary (208) 332-3570 ext. 3215

Over-The-Year Nonfarm Job Growth Remains Strong

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 2.9 percent in August, the 21st consecutive month at or below 3 percent.

An additional 2,815 people made themselves available for work in August, pushing Idaho’s seasonally adjusted labor force up to 879,220. The number of unemployed increased by 433 to 25,492. Total employment grew by 2,382 to 853,728.

Idaho’s labor force participation rate – the percentage of people age 16 years or older working or looking for work – was 64 percent.

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Idaho’s June Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 2.8 Percent

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: July 19, 2019
Information Contact: Karen Jarboe Singletary (208) 332-3570 ext. 3215 or Robert Kabel (208) 332-3570 ext. 3886

Over-The-Year Nonfarm Job Growth Remains Stable

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained steady at 2.8 percent in June, the 19th consecutive month at or below 3 percent.

An additional 2,107 people made themselves available for work between May and June, pushing Idaho’s seasonally adjusted labor force up to 873,645. The number of unemployed increased by 71 to 24,662. Total employment grew by 2,036 to 848,983.

Idaho’s labor force participation rate – the percentage of people age 16 years or older working or looking for work – increased slightly to 63.9 percent.

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Idaho’s May Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 2.8 Percent

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: June 21, 2019
Information Contact: Craig Shaul (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201 or Karen Jarboe Singletary (208) 332-3570 ext. 3215

Steady Nonfarm Job Growth Continues

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained steady at 2.8 percent in May, the 18th consecutive month at or below 3 percent.

An additional 1,622 people made themselves available for work between April and May, pushing Idaho’s seasonally adjusted labor force up to 871,505. The number of unemployed decreased by 84 to 24,593. Total employment grew by 1,706 to 846,912.

Idaho’s labor force participation rate – the percentage of people age 16 years or older working or looking for work – remained at 63.8 percent for the sixth consecutive month, as job growth continued to match the increase of people seeking work.

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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’s April Unemployment Rate Down Slightly to 2.8 Percent

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: May 17, 2019
Information Contact: Craig Shaul (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201 or Karen Jarboe Singletary (208) 332-3570 ext. 3215

Steady Nonfarm Job Growth Continues

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped slightly to 2.8 percent in April, the 17th consecutive month at or below 3 percent.

An additional 1,768 people made themselves available for work between March and April, pushing Idaho’s seasonally adjusted labor force up to 869,968. The number of unemployed decreased by 234 – down nearly one percent to 24,683. Total employment grew by 2,002 to 845,285.

Idaho’s labor force participation rate – the percentage of people age 16 years or older working or looking for work – increased to 63.9 percent.

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Idaho’s January Unemployment Rate Steady at 2.8 Percent

News Release

For Immediate Release: March 11, 2019
Information Contact: Craig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201 or Karen Jarboe Singletary (208) 332-3570 ext. 3215

Third Fastest in the Nation for Over-the-Month Job Growth

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 2.8 percent – the third consecutive month at this rate and the 14th consecutive month at or below 3 percent following the benchmarking of 2018 estimates.

 

The slight increase of Idaho’s seasonally adjusted over-the-month nonfarm payroll jobs was the third fastest in the nation – increasing by 4,500 in January to 746,800.

 

The biggest month-to-month industry job gains, all at or above 1 percent, were in construction, manufacturing, other services, financial activities, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality. Information and government were the only two sectors that experienced job declines.

Among Idaho’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), month over month, the Coeur d’Alene MSA was the fastest growing at 1.4 percent growth or 900 jobs.

 

An additional 2,052 people entered the workforce from December to January, pushing Idaho’s seasonally adjusted labor force number up to 864,446. Total employment increased by 1,438 to 840,074, and the number of unemployed increased by 614 to 24,372.   Continue reading