New short-term employment projections from the Idaho Department of Labor show Idaho’s healthy rate of job creation is expected to continue over the next two years. Total employment in Idaho — including self-employed and family businesses — reached a new high of 854,474 in the base period in 2022. This is projected to grow by 1.4% annually, reaching 878,100 in 2024.
The robustness and consistency of Idaho’s labor market has been a shining light in past years, with the state consistently leading the country in job growth. In 2020, COVID-19 led to significant job losses in a very short period of time — with almost all job losses occurring in March and April, but Idaho demonstrated its economic vitality with a quick rebound, returning to rapid job growth the following year. In fact, job growth in Idaho has been so strong that, even with the setback in 2020 during the pandemic, total employment in 2022 still reached and even exceeded forecasts.
Figure 1: Total employment in Idaho 2016-2022, with Idaho Labor 2024 projection
The Idaho Department of Lands purchased 18,050 acres of timberland spread around the five northern Idaho counties. The land, acquired for $50.4 million, will support state endowment beneficiaries, especially Idaho’s public schools, and boost long-term timber sales. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Great Homes of Idaho is now operating in Post Falls. A builder of manufactured and modular homes, Great Homes started in Missoula and has now expanded to northern Idaho. This new supply of affordable housing is greatly desirable, with Kootenai County experiencing serious shortages of workforce housing. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The Coeur d’Alene Airport is evaluating adding a commercial terminal. The current proposal would permit Avports, an airport operations management firm based in Virginia, to construct a new terminal, which would service commercial flights connecting northern Idaho to regional locations like Boise and Seattle. A measure is currently before the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners which would approve a 25-year lease for the project. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The Hayden City Council denied a zoning amendment which would have allowed for a new subdivision to be built on the arterial Ramsey and Hayden intersection. Council members cited serious traffic concerns. The city’s capital improvement plan has already identified the intersection as a priority for improvement. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Northern Idaho ended the year with labor demand still at elevated levels amid pressing labor shortages. Job posting data from The Conference Board’s Help Wanted OnLine data series showed nearly 21,000 job postings in the Coeur d’Alene metro area in 2022 – a significant increase over past years. The year ended with over 3,500 unfilled jobs in the region.
A 26,000-square-foot facility for Hayden Surgery Center is under construction in Hayden. The facility will include an orthopedic urgent care, physical therapy office and an outpatient surgery center with four operating rooms. The surgery center is scheduled to open in September.
For Immediate Release: Nov. 30, 2022 Media Contact: Lindsay.Trombly@labor.idaho.gov
Dec. 6 webinar focuses on the generations in the workforce
Idaho businesses are invited to a free webinar Tuesday, Dec. 6 to learn more about America’s current labor market.
Sam Wolkenhauer, Idaho Department of Labor economist for northern Idaho, will present the topic. Participants will learn why help wanted signs in windows are so prevalent in America and what role demographics are playing in the future of work.
BNSF Railways opened its Sandpoint Junction Connector bridge nearly a year ahead of schedule and began running traffic across the bridge. The new bridge adds a second line across Lake Pend Oreille, addressing a critical transit bottleneck where multiple lines converge before crossing the lake. Source: CDA Press
A new preschool is under construction in Coeur d’Alene. Phase one construction of the Kinder Prep Learning Center is underway with a spring opening planned. The preschool will care for children ages 18 months to 5 years old. Kootenai County currently has substantial shortages of childcare availability. Source: CDA Press
A 20,000-square-foot professional building is under construction in Coeur d’Alene. The Prairie Professional building will offer suite sizes ranging from 2,200 to 10,000 square feet. The project is slated for completion in December 2023. Source: CDA Press
The city of Coeur d’Alene is exploring grant options to help pay for new mooring docks at the city’s popular Third Street docks. The current docks were installed in 2000 and have cost the city nearly $100,000 in repairs due to rotting timbers. The city Parks and Recreation Department is exploring a $500,000 project to replace the current timber docks with composite materials. Source: CDA Press
Northwest Specialty Hospital has sold its facilities and property to a Milwaukee-based investment company. The hospital will now be a tenant in the buildings which it formerly owned. The hospital is physician owned and opted to sell as many of the founding providers are nearing retirement and wish to sell their shares. Source: Journal of Business
The Athol Retail Park is expanding, with a variety of new businesses planned for the growing commercial zone. New businesses include a Northwest Specialty Hospital clinic, a physical therapy office and a variety of retail and restaurant establishments. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Josephs’ Clinic is now open in Post Falls. The new clinic treats ear, nose, throat and allergy conditions and offers relevant outpatient procedures and surgeries. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
North Idaho College is moving forward with its long-term expansion and renovation plans. Two openings were celebrated – including the expansion of the Meyer Health and Sciences Building and the grand opening of the new Dental Hygiene Clinic. The college’s trustees approved the purchase of additional adjacent residential property to support the college’s long-range strategic plans. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Demographic changes, technological development and changing global cost structures now promise to make America among the most competitive manufacturing nations in the world.
For decades, manufacturing has been viewed by many people as an industry on the decline in the United States. As the American economy shifted ever more heavily towards services, factory employment in the country has steadily deteriorated. American manufacturing employment peaked at nearly 19.5 million in 1979, and has been steadily on the decline since then, averaging around 12 million throughout the 2010s.
In addition, the past several decades saw the emergence of substantial, low cost, rival manufacturing centers around the globe – particularly in Asia.
Despite this there are indications manufacturing in America has a dynamic future. There are at least three reasons to be optimistic about the future of manufacturing in America.
1) Energy Prices
Manufacturing is a very energy-intensive economic sector. Not only are electricity demands for industrial production enormous, but natural gas and other petroleum inputs are foundational raw materials for many products. Numerous chemicals, including plastics and fertilizer, are manufactured using natural gas. In 2021, the U.S. Energy Information Agency reported industrial energy consumption was 25% greater than residential and commercial consumption combined.
A 27,000-square-foot surgical facility is being built in Hayden. The Hayden Surgery Center will provide outpatient and orthopedic surgery, physical therapy and minor emergency services. Source: Journal of Business
North Idaho College’s Dental Hygiene program opened a new community dental clinic on the college’s main campus. The clinic will offer low-cost dental cleanings while helping dental hygiene students complete their clinicals to become register hygienists. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The North Idaho State Fair concluded its 10-day run with a record attendance. The fair saw 168,567 guests – a 9% increase from attendance in 2021. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The city of Coeur d’Alene is evaluating proposals to strengthen laws against short-term rentals, including civil penalties and dedicated enforcement. The city’s general services and public works committee cites the city’s well established housing crisis and severe shortage of available for-rent and for-sale homes as the need for these proposals. The committee seeks to curb the conversion of long-term rental properties to short-term rentals to combat the housing shortage. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Work has begun on a major Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) project to replace and upgrade the interchange between Interstate 90 and State Highway 41 in Post Falls. The current interchange, which includes three different traffic signals and intersections, has become a major traffic bottleneck as Post Falls has grown. The interchange will be replaced by a single intersection, which ITD believes will dramatically increase efficiency. Construction will be underway in phases until the summer of 2025. Source: Idaho Transportation Department
Kootenai Health has begun work on a $40 million expansion to its Heart Center, operating rooms and Kootenai Outpatient Surgery facilities. The expansion will add 37,000 square feet to the heart center, new laboratories and more patient rooms, which will allow the hospital to provide more same-day surgeries. The project is scheduled for completion in fall 2023. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Construction has begun on an 18-story, 60-unit luxury condominium tower in downtown Coeur d’Alene. The tower, to be named The Thomas George, has an estimated value of $45 million and will have units ranging in price from $800,000 to $4 million. Source: Journal of Business
The city of Post Falls annexed nearly 90 acres of agricultural land and approved zoning changes to lay the groundwork for the development of a new commercial corridor, as well as infrastructure improvements related to the construction of a new charter school. Construction of the planned Kootenai Classical Academy — the first charter school in Post Falls — is expected to begin this fall. Source: Journal of Business
The Coeur d’Alene City Council approved a $10 million water tank project to prevent water supply issues in the northeastern quadrant of the city. Urban growth has begun to stress existing water infrastructure, and city staff have assessed the need to accelerate water projects to avoid water supply issues. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press