Every two years, the Idaho Department of Labor releases 10-year-projections of what Idaho’s economy may look like. After years of sluggish economic growth the department’s most recent projections indicate that Idaho’s economy may finally be heating up. From 2012 to 2022 Idaho payroll jobs are projected to grow 16.3 percent – 1.5 percent annually – and add more than 109,000 jobs to the economy. While 16 percent growth would be excellent news for the state’s economy, Idaho’s economy appears to be well ahead of schedule and on track to significantly outpace the national economy.
Another positive sign in Idaho’s current expansion is that the growth has been distributed throughout several sectors of the economy. With two years removed from the latest projections, 12 industries in Idaho have posted higher-than-expected growth rates. Health care and social assistance reported the largest net growth adding 6,764 jobs – 2,800 more than projected growth – followed by leisure and hospitality adding 4,749 – 2,060 more than projected growth – and construction at 4,332 – 2,100 more than projected growth. Eight industries performed below expectations, four of which experienced losses.
Source: Idaho Department of Labor, QCEW
The education people receive and the skills they attain greatly influence their economic well-being, but successfully navigating the labor market is no simple task, and understanding the history of eastern Idaho’s labor market, its current growth and the specific industries that are growing can make it easier.
After several years of slow growth, the U.S. labor market appears to be picking up. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 295,000 increase in February’s nonfarm payroll employment, marking the 12th straight month payrolls grew by more than 200,000 – the first time since a 19-month run in 1993 to 1995. Continue reading
Jobs in the utilities sector will grow a percentage point faster through 2022 than jobs overall in Idaho.
The Idaho Department of Labor’s long-term industry projections estimate job growth in utilities will hit 17.3 percent between 2012 and 2022 compared with 16.2 percent for all jobs in the state.
While this growth in the utilities industry is good news, especially considering that the Idaho Department of Labor estimates the annual average wage in this sector at $66,697, the need for new workers raises the question of whether the state will have enough workers with the right skills to meet the demand.
Industry classification reflects the business activity of a person’s employer or company. Occupational classification reflects the type of job or work that the person does, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Long-term occupational projections for Idaho will appear in another article in the future.
Employment by Major Industry Sector
Idaho jobs are projected to increase 109,000 to 781,000 from 2012 to 2022, according to long-term projections from the Idaho Department of Labor. This 16 percent increase over 10 years is more than double the growth Idaho experienced in the previous decade.
From 2002 to 2012, goods-production industries, excluding agriculture, shed more than 14,000 jobs to fall from 16 percent of the economy to just over 13 percent. Jobs in the service sector filled the gap, increasing from 70 percent to 75 percent of all jobs. Through 2022 goods production should hold its own and increase its share of total jobs fractionally, gaining nearly 18,000 jobs over the decade to exceed 106,000 by 2022. Construction and manufacturing have returned to positive annual growth, but mining is expected to add just over 100 jobs in stark contrast to the more than 900 jobs added during the previous 10 years.