Tag Archives: Sam Wolkenhauer

Around Idaho: Economic Activity in October 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

Bonner County

  • Summit Cancer Centers has opened a new cancer clinic in Sandpoint. The clinic offers imaging services, as well as immunotherapy and chemotherapy. Source: Journal of Business

Kootenai County

  • Blue Cross of Idaho opened a new office in Coeur d’Alene. The new facility, which will eventually employ 40 people, will provide local customer service to Blue Cross health services members in northern Idaho. Source: Journal of Business
  • TDS Telecommunications, a Wisconsin-based internet service provider, opened a retail store in Coeur d’Alene. TDS is also planning to install roughly 700 miles of fiber cable in Kootenai County over the next three years. Source: Journal of Business
  • Construction is underway on a new elementary school in Coeur d’Alene. The new school, which will have more than 53,000 square feet of space, will replace an older facility in Hayden as the home of Coeur d’Alene’s NExA program for K-5 students, which uses expeditionary learning models. Source: Journal of Business
  • The Coeur d’Alene City Council approved a deal with T. LaRiviere Construction to begin work on the Atlas Waterfront Park. The new park will add public access to 3,800 feet of waterfront, and will include a variety of park facilities such as a dog park and kayak launch. 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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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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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in August 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

Bonner County

  • Tamarack Aerospace Group is moving forward with its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and received U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval to move forward with a financing plan that will allow the company to resume its sales. Source: Spokane-Kootenai Journal of Business

Kootenai County

  • TDS Metrocom, a Wisconsin-based telecommunications company, has begun constructing a new fiber optic network in Coeur d’Alene, which will eventually offer high-speed residential connectivity. TDS currently has a staff of 11 people in Coeur d’Alene, but expects to ramp up to as many as 200 employees by 2022, at which point the company anticipates having installed more than 700 miles of fiber. Eventually, TDS expects to be able to serve roughly 48,000 residences and business in Kootenai County. Source: Spokane-Kootenai Journal of Business
  • The city of Post Falls is moving forward to create a 548-acre urban renewal district encompassing the city’s downtown district. A report from the city council noted that 151 of the 674 structures in the district were in a state of deterioration, while the area also suffered from a lack of sidewalks, unfinished streets and underdeveloped tracts. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The Red Lion Templin’s Hotel in Post Falls is undergoing a complete renovation by its new owners, KVA Management. Improvements include a renovation of all 163 guestrooms, a renovated lobby and a new restaurant and kitchen. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Openings

  • Sawmill Grille in Post Falls
  • Beau Monde Luxe in Coeur d’Alene
  • Farmhouse 208

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

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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in July 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

Bonner County

  • Tamarack Aerospace, a Sandpoint-based manufacturer of airplane winglets, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company has reduced its staff from 25 at the beginning of the year to 16. It will continue to operate after entering the reorganization bankruptcy. Source: Journal of Business

Kootenai County

  • Hayden-based manufacturer StanCraft Boat Co. is moving forward with construction of its new Jet Center at the Coeur d’Alene Airport. Representatives for StanCraft, which manufactures luxury watercraft, characterized the move to redo jet interiors as a natural dovetail from their current business. The Jet Center is scheduled to open in the spring of 2020. Source: Journal of Business
  • Northwest Specialty Hospital in Post Falls has opened a new Endoscopy Center. The new wing adds nearly 9,000 square feet to the facility, adding procedure rooms and post-operative care space. Source: Journal of Business
  • The city of Post Falls has agreed to purchase 10 acres of right-of-way from Union Pacific Railroad as part of an ongoing effort to eliminate the rail spur line so that the Prairie Trail can be extended northward. The trail extension project is intended to improve the connectivity of the region as well as improve public safety by eliminating multiple public rail crossings. 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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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in June 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

  • Seattle-based hardware retailer Hardwick and Sons is moving to Post Falls after nearly 90 years in Seattle’s University District. The store’s owners cited a growing tax burden in Washington as their primary motivation for relocating to northern Idaho. Source: Journal of Business
  • Gunfighters LLC, a gun holster manufacturer based in central Washington, is relocating its operations to Rathdrum. The company cited a more “gun-friendly culture” in Idaho, as well as a lack of space in their current facilities, as their reasons for moving to northern Idaho. Source: Journal of Business
  • A new jet center owned and operated by StanCraft is set to open at the Coeur d’Alene airport. The facility, which will create about 50 jobs, will be used to update aircraft and serve as a fueling station. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The Coeur d’Alene City Council approved plans to build a $2.6 million water administration building. The project will be funded entirely with the Water Department’s reserve funds. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The city of Athol received a Community Development Block Grant from the Idaho Department of Commerce to support a $3.5 million water improvement project. City officials initiated the improvement project, noting that the city’s aging water system lacks the necessary pressure to meet Idaho environmental quality requirements. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

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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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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in March 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

  • Medical services continue to expand in Kootenai County. Inland Northwest Therapy, a pediatric physical, speech and occupational therapy clinic, is opening a new location in Post Falls. Resilience Psychiatric Medicine is also opening a new facility in Coeur d’Alene. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
  • Hospice of North Idaho has started construction on a $1.8 million expansion to its inpatient facilities to help meet Kootenai County’s growing need for end-of-life care. The expansion will add patient rooms and additional space for families, and it is expected to be completed by September. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
  • Coeur d’Alene City officials are working with the Idaho Transportation Department to rework traffic signaling on key transit corridors. Traffic congestion in Coeur d’Alene has increased substantially as the population has grown, and city officials believe that turning control of the signaling over to ITD will help alleviate congestion. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • After failing to find a buyer, Shopko announced it will be closing all of its remaining stores over the summer, and the closure of its Coeur d’Alene location is now slated for June 16. The Coeur d’Alene Shopko was initially not on the company’s closure list when it announced a restructuring plan in January. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Viking Builders will construct a new subdivision in Hayden. The new development will include 52 single-family homes on a 20 acre parcel, in addition to lots for commercial space. Construction will begin after the completion of a new sewer lift station this spring. (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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Interest Rates and Idaho’s Housing Market

As an era of low interest mortgage rates appears to be ending and housing prices and interest rates shift steadily higher, many homeowners may find their affordable monthly mortgage payment increasingly difficult to cover.

A prolonged post-recessionary period of low interest rates increased homebuyer purchasing power allowed home prices to rise far beyond levels household income might otherwise allow. The result is a housing market where prices are detached from household income and interest rates – rather than income – are a main driver of economic activity.

Mortgage rates were in a long slow decline prior to the 2007 – 2008 housing market crash which provoked even lower rates. For nearly 10 years afterwards, homebuyers consistently enjoyed mortgage rates well below 5 percent.1

chart of 30-year mortgage rates

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in January 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

  • Thomas Tedder, founder and CEO of Post Falls holster manufacturer Tedder Industries, has sold a majority share in the manufacturer to a Texas-based investment group. Tedder said he would phase out of the CEO role over the following months and focus on his real estate concerns at his other company, Tedder Properties. Source: Spokane-Kootenai Journal of Business
  • Two new urban renewal districts have been proposed in the city of Rathdrum. Amid record growth, Rathdrum’s urban renewal agency has conducted eligibility studies to create two new renewal districts aimed at improving a total of 155 acres worth of lots. Currently, construction on the lots in question is blocked by gas and power lines that create “hurdles” to development, which would be remediated by the proposed renewal projects. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Kootenai County’s commissioners are preparing to revisit the controversial new building permit opt-out provisions. The provision, adopted last year, allows builders on unincorporated lots in Kootenai County to opt out of county building codes. The new board of commissioners – two of the three commissioners are newly elected – plans to revisit the opt-out provision, starting with a series of public hearings. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • North Idaho College was awarded a three-year federal grant worth $675,607. It will use the funds to launch a new NIC Venture Center, which will support the college’s entrepreneurial programs. The Venture Center will feature new educational programming for entrepreneurship, as well as a rapid prototype lab for manufacturing. In 2017, NIC was named Entrepreneurial College of the Year by the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Openings in Coeur d’Alene

  • Terre Coffee and Bakery
  • Great Expectations Painting
  • Schwartz Law

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

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