Tag Archives: idaho economy

Idaho’s High Demand for Truckers is Expected to Continue

The nationwide worker shortage in the trucking industry was an issue even before the pandemic. According to U.S. Xpress, one of the nation’s largest truckload carriers, the industry needs at least 80,000 new truckers in the U.S. (*Forbes Jan. 21, 2022 )

In Idaho, truck drivers have long been an in-demand occupation. High demand can at least partially be attributed to the state’s location, making trucking a better option than other forms of transportation.photo: semi trailer truck

Even with the Lewiston seaport, Idaho is basically landlocked and not served by an international airport. Though rail transportation is used for bulk agricultural commodities, seasonal commodity shipments do not allow for consistent rail line contracts.

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Idaho’s Long-term Employment Forecast Shows Steady Growth Through 2030

Idaho’s labor market is expected to continue its robust expansion through the end of the decade, according to new long-term employment projections from the Idaho Department of Labor.

The new estimates, which cover the period from 2020 to 2030, project an employment growth rate for Idaho of 1.5% per year, bringing total employment to 933,563 in 2030. This forecast is consistent with Idaho’s record of strong job creation in recent years – which includes rapid growth from 2010 to 2020, and an economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that was among the strongest in the nation.

Idaho’s long-term projected growth rate of 1.5% is significantly higher than the national forecast. The most recent projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipate a national growth rate of approximately 0.7% annually – less than half the projected growth rate for Idaho. This is consistent with recent experience; Idaho has consistently been among the leaders in job growth among the states, and the growth rate in Idaho has exceeded the national rate nine years in a row, starting in 2012.

Figure 1: Annual Employment Growth, US and Idaho line chart

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Idaho Department of Labor Continue reading

Around Idaho: Economic Activity in January 2022

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

Kootenai County

  • A mixed-used development including more than120 residential units is being planned for the former site of the Idaho Veneer mill. The development will include a mixture of townhomes and multifamily units, in addition to plans for a hotel and commercial space. Source: Journal of Business
  • Developer Measom Holdings LLC is building a development of luxury townhomes in Coeur d’Alene. The project, named the Nest, will feature five high end townhomes on Lakeside Drive, valued at nearly $5 million. Source: Journal of Business
  • Kootenai Health has begun construction of a $37.3 million expansion to its heart center on the main hospital campus. The expansion will add additional operating rooms and bed space in addition to providing vacant space to accommodate future needs. The hospital is expanding capacity to respond to increased demand for procedures from the county’s growing population. Source: Journal of Business

 Openings – Coeur d’Alene

  • Crossfit CDA
  • Aunt Stephanie’s Child Care
  • Takara, a Japanese restaurant
  • Say Yes Bridal Boutique
  • Thunder Games
  • Lake Coeur d’Alene Inn
  • Inland Kava and Botanicals

Openings – Hayden

  • Kaffee Meister
  • Dairy Queen
  • T-Mobile


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

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Apprenticeship Profile: Idaho Forest Group creates new careers for its employees.

Billie Jo Spencer, a filer bencher apprentice at the Moyie Springs sawmill near Bonners Ferry for Idaho Forest Group (IFG), has been moving up the pay scale by increasing her job skills through IFG and Idaho Department of Labor apprenticeship programs.

Billie Jo Spencer

Billie Jo Spencer

The Moyie Springs mill produces about 200 million board feet of dimension lumber products per year. It requires a skilled work force to keep the mill running smoothly and efficiently, IFG officials say.

Spencer started working for IFG 12 years ago, driving a fork lift. She completed the Filer-Fitter apprenticeship a couple years ago, and she’s working on her second apprenticeship as a saw filer.

“I’m always learning something,” she says. “I’m putting teeth in the saws and welding the shoulders.”

photo: workers cutting lumber

There are three levels of being a filer bencher, Spencer says. She’s on level one right now, and hopes to continue to move up to the higher levels. IFG mills are highly automated for efficiency. At the Moyie mill, raw logs are rough-cut by special machinery as they enter the mill on a conveyer belt. Farther down the line, the large blocks of wood are sawed into stud lumber in 8- and 9-foot- long sections. Continue reading

Job Creation and New Startups in Idaho

New private business establishments (“startups”) are an important driver of employment and economic growth for Idaho as well as the nation. This short report follows up on startup activity in the state and finds continued growth in Idaho startups through 2020 with the startup and entrepreneurship rates above the national average and startup failure rates now on par with the national average. However, startups’ employment footprint has declined, driven by a trend towards smaller new establishments. Additionally, their employment footprint is uneven across industries, with various services, construction and retail trade accounting for almost 70% of total employment by startups in 2019. Moreover, the entrepreneurship rate is negatively correlated with the lagged startup failure rate, with a 10 percentage point reduction in the failure rate associated with two more startups per 1,000 of the civilian labor force. Relative to neighboring states except for Washington, Idaho continues to have higher startup and entrepreneurship rates and is second to Oregon in lowest startup failure rate as of 2018.

The number of startups in Idaho have steadily grown over the past three decades from an estimated 3,249 in 1994 to 6,526 in 2020, as shown in Figure 1. Startup activity is unsurprisingly pro-cyclical with the economy, as evidenced by the dip accompanying the 2001 recession and the large decline during the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Since reaching its recessionary trough in 2010, startups have grown at an average annual rate of 8.74%. (Note that since the reference period for the Business Employment Dynamics Survey is March, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and recession was not captured in this time series.)

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Idaho’s December Unemployment Rate Reaches Historic Low of 2.4%

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: Jan. 21, 2022
Media Contact: Karen.JarboeSingletary@labor.idaho.gov or Craig.Shaul@labor.idaho.gov

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.4% in December, a historic low and one-tenth of a percentage point below the state’s previous record of 2.5% in December 2019.

The number of Idahoans employed or looking for work grew by 806 people (0.1%) to 909,467 – marking the smallest over-the-month labor force gain through the last five months of 2021.

Labor force participation decreased slightly from 62.3% to 62.2% in December. The state’s participation rate dropped below the previous historic low in June 2021 and has continued decreasing in the months since – an indication of a persistently tight labor market. Idaho’s peak participation rate reached 71.4% in September 1998.

Total employment grew by 2,522 to 887,379, up 0.3%, while total unemployment dropped by 1,716 (7.2%) to 22,088. According to The Conference Board’s Help Wanted Online there were 51,765 online job openings in Idaho in December – a ratio of 2.3 openings for every unemployed Idahoan.

Idaho’s nonfarm job growth exceeded seasonal expectations in December, up 2,000 jobs (0.3%) for a total of 790,500 jobs. Industry sectors with the greatest over-the-month gains include natural resources (4.9%); information (3.9%); transportation, warehousing and utilities (2.4%); durable goods manufacturing (1.6%); federal government (0.8%); professional and business services (0.5%); local government (0.4%); accommodation and food services (0.4%); and retail trade (0.3%). Continue reading

Around Idaho: Economic Activity in November and December 2021

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

Regional

  • October’s unemployment rate reported 3,921 unemployed individuals in northern IdahoTable: Number of job postings in northern Idaho by county 2019, 2020, 2021 while the analytics company Burning Glass reported 2,110 online job postings. Although the number of potential job seekers exceeding job postings could be a sign that the labor shortage may be on the way to being resolved, that does not mean the job descriptions align with the qualifications and education of those seeking employment.
  • The region’s civilian labor force grew by 4.4% from pre-pandemic levels and includes those working and those seeking work. A percentage of those migrating to Idaho are bringing their remote jobs with them and potentially a larger paycheck than the same job pays in Idaho. This is good news to those Idaho businesses depending on local consumers, but also can fuel the affordable housing woes. Source: Burning Glass and Idaho Department of Labor

Bonner County

  • Schweitzer opened its ski hill to pass holders with limited runs open the day after Thanksgiving. Source: KHQ

Boundary County

  • The Kootenai tribe announced it will develop a travel center with an 8,660-square-foot convenience store, gas and diesel fuel stations, truck parking and a Sonic restaurant along U.S. Highway 95. Construction will begin in spring 2022. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Kootenai County

  • Crisis Standards of Care were ended in the Panhandle Health District after being in effect since early September. The deactivation of crisis standards will allow hospitals around northern Idaho to resume scheduling surgeries and other procedures which were previously postponed to maximize space and staff available for COVID-19 patients. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Construction is underway on the Ross Point recreation area on the Spokane River. Work, which is expected to be completed in June, will include the construction of docks, parking, pedestrian areas and recreational facilities, and it will greatly increase general access to the Spokane River shoreline. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The Post Falls Wal-Mart closed its doors for two days to conduct deep cleaning and maintenance. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Shoshone County

  • City Limits Brew Pub in Wallace is October’s Idaho Small Business of the Month. U.S. Sen. James Risch highlighted the quality of service, food and beer at City Limits in his announcement. The company also operates an RV park adjacent to the brewpub. Source: Shoshone News Press
  • Silver Mountain opened its bunny and tubing hills the day after Thanksgiving. Source: Facebook page and Coeur d’Alene Press

Openings – Coeur d’Alene

  • Local Market at Atlas
  • Northwest Artists
  • Thermography Northwest
  • Breaking Bread Bistro
  • Black Sheep Sporting Goods
  • Black Lodge Brewing
  • HeatPraxia
  • Faithful K9 Training
  • Linden Coffee
  • Best Life Coeur d’Alene
  • Lavender Sun
  • Malvagio’s Eatery
  • Sherman Waffle House
  • Allergy Free Air
  • Roasted Coffee Co.
  • Golf Island

Openings – Region

  • Golden Glo Coffee, Rathdrum
  • Valley Roots, Post Falls
  • Prairie Xpress, Hayden

Other Openings

  • Allergy Free Air opened a new office in downtown Coeur d’Alene. The company says it filters out all allergens and pollution of a home through a gallon of water to provide a healthier lifestyle. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Roasted Coffee Co. opened an espresso, ice cream and bakery shop in Coeur d’Alene. This is the second location, originating in Post Falls. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • HeatPraxia Saunas is opening in Coeur d’Alene. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Closings

  • Locked & Loaded Storage of Post Falls is closing after 15 years due to annexation requirements by the city of Post Falls and Kootenai County. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • US Bank announced it will shut down its Wallace location, and most employees will be laid off. It is the only bank in the city. Residents are rallying to dissuade US Bank from closing and/or find a replacement institution. The bank building is centrally located, has the only ATM and has residential living space on its upper floors. Source: Shoshone News Press

Jan.Roeser@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
(208) 332-3570 ext. 3639 and
Sam.Wolkenhauer@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

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Idaho’s Economic Recovery Exceeds Expectations in 2020

Idaho continued to experience rapid population growth, relatively low unemployment and a significant increase in business growth in 2020, even as the coronavirus pandemic caused major interruptions to the national and state economies.

Comparing Idaho’s 2020 economy with neighboring states gives economists a clearer perspective of the state’s economy and creates a roadmap of expectations for a full economic picture in 2021.

Idaho’s 2.1% population growth from 2019 to 2020 was the highest among the states for the fourth consecutive year. The U.S. Census Bureau will release state population estimates for 2021 on Dec. 21, 2021, and will reveal if Idaho’s population growth will continue to lead the nation. Figure f-1: Population growth by state, 2019 to 2020, ranked

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Idaho’s Private Sector Showed Net Job Gains in First Quarter 2021

Idaho private sector job gains exceeded job losses, yielding a net employment gain of 16,217 jobs during the first quarter of 2021.

From December 2020 to March 2021, gross job gains in Idaho totaled 53,979 while gross job losses totaled 37,762.

Figure 1

Graphic of job gains and losses in Idaho 2011-2021 by number

According to the U.S. Business Employment Dynamic (BED) report, both gross job gains and gross job losses declined in Idaho from fourth quarter 2020 (Figure 1).

The BED report, produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, covers job gains and losses at private sector firms and identifies whether the change is due to businesses opening or closing, or increases and decreases in employment at existing firms.

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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in October 2021

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

Shoshone County

  • The state of Idaho has taken ownership of the Central Treatment Plant in Kellogg under the direction of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The plant has been responsible for cleaning up mine pollution in the Coeur d’Alene Basin since it began operations 50 years ago. Under new ownership, the plant is expected to overcome the facility’s former water capacity restrictions and lower the amount of heavy metals from the nearby mine before it flows into the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River. Source: Shoshone News-Press

Kootenai County

  • Lanzce G. Douglass Inc. has started work on a $73.3 million housing project in the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene area. The River’s Edge Apartments in Coeur d’Alene will account for $45.2 million of the total project. With 12 apartment buildings and 384 residential units, River’s Edge will be one of the largest multifamily complexes in the region. The apartments will be located in the Atlas District, part of Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal district along the north side of the Spokane River, in west Coeur d’Alene. Source: Spokane Journal of Business

Bonner County

  • The Priest Lake wetland is set to be subdivided for land development and housing construction. Local residents have expressed concerns about the permanent loss of several ecosystem functions and their benefits to humans such as flood control, water filtration and aquifer recharge. Source: Spokesman-Review

Business updates

  • Amazon Air has launched daily flights from a 30,750-square-foot cargo facility at the Spokane Airport. The $5.4 million facility will transport packages from the airport to the Amazon Fulfillment Center, located a few miles southwest of the new Amazon Air station at 10010 W. Geiger Blvd. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
  • Corwin Automotive Group purchased Gus Johnson Ford in Spokane Valley and plans to work with Mike White Ford of Coeur d’Alene to grow its presence in the area. Corwin Auto is based in North Dakota. Source: The Spokesman-Review

Rajshri Suresh@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 332-3570 ext. 3201

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