July Economic Activity Around Idaho


regional economic updates header

Northern Idaho
North Central Idaho
Southwestern Idaho
South Central Idaho
Southeastern & Eastern Idaho

NORTHERN IDAHO – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and  Shoshone counties

Regional Developments

  • Former State Sen. Jim Hammond is the new executive director of Panhandle Area Council. As the mayor of Post Falls and in other capacities, Hammond has been on the council board of directors for more than 20 years.
  • My Place Hotels LLC of Aberdeen, S.D., is developing a $3.4 million, 30,000-square-foot extended-stay hotel in Washington’s Spokane Valley. The hotel is slated to be finished in September and will employ up to 15 people.
  • Two of the three megaload shipments of oil refinery equipment proposed to be trucked through northern Idaho will be shipped by rail instead. The third shipment will most likely move on U.S. Highway 95 and Idaho Highway 200 through northern Idaho, requiring a temporary on-ramp to Interstate 90 from east Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive. A National Environmental Policy Act review is pending.
  • The University of Idaho received a $1.2 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to provide students with real-world research in STEM fields. The five-year grant will finance a new curriculum with an initial focus on Idaho’s water quality. The university also received a $1 million grant from the Micron Foundation to attract more students in STEM fields.

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Brewery Business Growing in Idaho

The recession did not curb the growth of alcoholic beverage manufacturers in Idaho. Breweries, distilleries and wineries were already making a mark 20 years ago in the state, but the business has taken off in specific regions since.

Southwestern Idaho has the highest payrolls and average employment for wineries and breweries, but the distillery business is still strongest in the eastern part of the state where fermented potatoes are made into vodka.

Southeastern Idaho is the only region without any alcoholic beverage manufacturing on an industry scale.

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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.

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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 labor.idaho.gov/cc. 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.

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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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