Idaho Releases 2012-2022 Industry Projections

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.

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Nursing, Computer Occupations Offer More Mobility than Other Careers

Hot jobs coupled with occupational mobility are important factors in identifying a career path or administering education and training programs.

Registered nurses rank highest on the hot jobs list — those that, on average, rank high in the abundance of jobs in the economy, the fastest rate of growth and the highest pay. Registered nurses continue to be one of the most in-demand occupations in Idaho. The top five hot jobs through 2020 are in the health care industry.

Hot Jobs Table - AM

The number of registered nurses in Idaho is expected to grow faster than the nation.

According to Economic Modeling Specialists International, by the year 2020 Idaho would expect to add 1,800 registered nurses to the workforce. But at the projected rate of growth, the state should add 4,660 registered nurses – an advantage of 2,860 over the national growth rate.

This competitive effect is greater than for any other occupation because of the expected number of replacements due to retirements, accelerated aging population in Idaho and increasing access to health insurance. Furthermore, the pressure is rising on hospitals to discharge patients as soon as possible, resulting in more people admitted to long-term care facilities or outpatient care centers and greater demand for home health care, generating the need for more registered nurses.

Competetive effect graph AM

Computer and software occupations are also on Idaho’s hot jobs list but are expected to grow more slowly than the nation. However, computer and software occupations provide more mobility within and across industries from manufacturing to professional services and government. Because computers are used in most industries, workers in computer-related occupations have many employment options. Such jobs make workers more versatile, allowing them to adjust to the market and regular business cycles. It also allows more choices about the type of employer for which they work.

The more widely an occupation has jobs in a variety of industries, the more mobile it may be.

Over 60 percent of registered nurses work in Idaho hospitals, 13 percent for home health care services, nearly 8 percent in physician offices and another 7 percent in nursing care facilities. The composition may change over time due to trends in health care and as Idaho’s population evolves. Although paid significantly less and requiring fewer credentials, licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, or LPNs, are spread across more industries, giving them more mobility.

Occupational mobility also relates to transferrable skills with equal pay. Using EMSI’s compatibility index, which is based on education level, wages and competency requirements, the top five hot jobs had lower compatibility with other occupations of similar pay and aptitude than occupations with more cross-industry employment. For example, a critical care nurse was the only occupation with pay and aptitude similar to a registered nurse.

A market research analyst and marketing specialist had nine in-demand occupations of similar aptitude and wages including business intelligence analyst, marketing manager, management analyst and financial analyst. Training and development specialists had seven compatible in-demand occupations. LPNs, computer systems analysts and information security analysts all had six compatible in-demand occupations with similar or higher wages.

The abundance and demand of an occupation can determine the wage and competitiveness of its share in the job market. However, the transferability of skills determines marketability. The more flexible and versatile workers are in their careers, the more marketable and valuable they can be to an employer.

AM table 1

AM table 2, regional economist
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FAQ Friday – How do I Stay Eligible for Unemployment Insurance Benefits?

To stay eligible for unemployment insurance benefits, you must file a weekly report at You must also be working less than full time, be available and physically and mentally able to work and actively seeking full-time employment. You also must be willing and able to work all the days and hours normal for the type of work you seek. Finally, you need to remain in the area unless you are seeking work outside of where you live.

What could stop or deny my benefits?

Situations arise that require us to stop payment while investigating claims. Some of these issues are:

  • Quitting a job
  • Being fired
  • Being unable to work
  • Being out of town
  • Attending school
  • Being incarcerated
  • Missing or refusing work
  • Failing to seek work
  • Failing to provide requested information
  • Making a false statement or withholding information to obtain benefits
  • Becoming self-employed
  • Failing to participate in an in-person employment interview.
Am I  still eligible for benefits if I go out of town?

If you are seeking work outside of the area where you live, you will be asked to provide the names and addresses of where you looked for work. We may contact these employers to verify your work search.

After you answer the question, “Were you away from the area where you normally look for work?” or “Were you away from the area where you normally work?” as “Yes” on your weekly continued claim report, an adjudicator will contact you for more information to determine if you are eligible for benefits during the week you were out of town.

What if I find a full-time job?

If you are hired for a full-time job, you should not claim benefits for any week in which you worked full time because you are no longer eligible to collect benefits. There is no need to call us; simply quit filing your weekly report. Continuing to collect benefits could lead to monetary penalties and criminal prosecution. The next time you work less than full time and want to claim benefits, you need to reopen your claim at

What if I become unemployed again? Do I reopen my claim?

Your claim is automatically stopped if you have not claimed benefits for two or more consecutive weeks or if you earned more than 1½ times your weekly benefit amount. To reopen your claim, go to

Your claim is open the Sunday of the week you reopen your claim. Do not wait until the week is over before reopening your claim; Idaho does not allow backdating the claim-effective date. If you  worked since your last filing, make sure you have a complete and accurate list of employer addresses.

Do I have to look for work?

Yes and you must make at least two employment contacts per week. Your obligation while receiving unemployment benefits is to become re-employed. To do so, you need to develop a realistic plan to achieve this objective. Unless otherwise specified in your work-search plan, you are required to make a good faith effort to seek full-time work each week that you claim benefits, even if you are employed part time.

How will I know if I am required to look for work?

Unless otherwise specified, you are required to make a good faith effort to seek full-time work each week you claim benefits, even if you are employed part time. We require at least two employment contacts per week. Never assume you are not required to look for work. Call us at (208) 332-8942 if you have questions regarding your work-search requirements.

Do I have to provide my work-search contacts?

Yes. You will be prompted to enter your work search contacts when you file your weekly report. You may want to use our work search log to keep track of your weekly contacts. The contacts you list will be verified with the employers. Falsifying work-search contacts will result in a determination of fraud.

You also may be required to participate in a personal interview with a workforce consultant. The interview is designed to help you return to work in the shortest time possible. The consultant may assist you with labor market information, resumes and innovative ideas for seeking work. Failure to participate will result in your benefits being stopped.

Job Opportunities Grow in Recovering Trucking Industry

Trucking is one of several industries that can be a fairly accurate economic barometer. During 2007 as the economy slid into recession, the industry experienced declines in the amount of freight being shipped – a clear and early indication that the nation’s economy was slowing down.

The trucking industry is still attempting to recover from the job losses suffered after 2007 as are other industries. Since then, the number of heavy and tractor-trailer drivers has decreased from nearly 1.7 million to just below 1.6 million in 2013 – a 5.9 percent decline.

Trucking 1

(Click on the tables to increase the size)

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June Economic Activity in Idaho

Idaho department of labor county developments


Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone counties

Regional Developments

  • Idaho Forest Group, operator of five mills in northern Idaho, is expanding into cross-laminated timber – a super-strong engineered wood called CLT. The expansion is a partnership with the Johann Offner Group, a global manufacturing company headquartered in Wolfsberg, Austria. Idaho Forest Group will be the first in the United States to sell CLT, which is layers of lumber oriented at right angles to one another and glued together to form rigid panels with exceptional strength and stability. Together, the two family-owned companies  will market and distribute CLT building systems in the U.S. as soon as this year. Idaho Forest Group will initially import CLT with an eye toward manufacturing it within three years.
  • North Idaho College trustees accepted the college administration’s proposal to fill a budget shortfall of $352,000 for fiscal year 2015 by raising tuition $2 per credit hour for Kootenai County students and $6 per credit hour for out-of-district students. Local students taking 12 credits will now pay $1,511 per semester, a 1.6 percent increase.
  • New Jersey Mining Co. of Coeur d’Alene, which owns the New Jersey Mill in Kellogg, bought 13 patented mining claims covering 220 acres near Elk City from Vancouver, B.C.-based Premium Exploration Inc., for $425,000. PennStarter, a newly formed division of Coeur d’Alene-based stock brokerage Pennaluna & Co., had raised more than $1 million for New Jersey Mining through its online equity funding portal launched last November so people could invest mainly in startup companies. New Jersey Mining was one of three companies that PennStarter initially included on the website. PennStarter specializes in the mining and natural resources industry.

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Marriage Customs in Idaho, Nation Changed Significantly Since 1960s

Since the 1960s, Idaho, like the rest of the United States, has seen dramatic changes in marriage customs. They, in turn, affect the makeup of households, which determines the strength of consumer spending, home stability for children and the educational attainment and size of the available workforce.


Attitudes toward marriage have changed dramatically in the past two or three decades.

While marriage once was a first step into adulthood, it now is one of the last steps. Andrew J. Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins, wrote in an April 27, 2013, New York Times article that “marriage has become the capstone experience of personal life — the last brick put in place after everything else is set. … Young adults with greater earning potential, who can afford the capstone celebration, are still marrying in large numbers while those with poorer economic prospects are holding off. According to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research, 88 percent of 35- to 44-year-old women with four-year college degrees have married, compared with 79 percent of those without high-school diplomas. In fact, young adults without college degrees are increasingly likely to put off marriage and have their first children in cohabiting relationships, sometimes years before they marry. Nearly all of the increase in childbearing outside of marriage in the last two decades is from births to cohabiting couples, most without college degrees, rather than to single mothers.

“More than 90 percent of American women with four-year college degrees wait until after they are married to have children. … Moreover, their marriages are lasting longer — since 1980 the divorce rate has dropped faster for those with college degrees so that about one in six of their marriages ends in divorce in the first 10 years compared with nearly one in two marriages among people without high school degrees.”

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Unemployment Claims May Indicate Emerging Employment Trends

Large decreases in initial claims imply impending employment strength and economic growth for Idaho.

Workers who lose their jobs and are covered by the unemployment insurance program usually file an initial unemployment claim, serving notice that they are beginning a period of unemployment. In 2008 only 36 percent of the total unemployed received unemployment insurance benefits nationwide, but information from those initial claims can indicate labor market conditions and provide insight into the direction of the economy.

Large increases in claims draw attention because they suggest looming employment weakness, which could spread throughout the economy. In the depths of the recession, the number of initial claims in Idaho hit a record 28,314 in December 2008. Employment levels were plummeting and the number of workers filing continuing benefit claims each week was climbing. Continue reading