Jobs in Idaho -- as well as the state's overall economy -- are driven by manufacturing, tourism and a strong agriculture sector. Economic conditions are gradually improving as the state works to expand job opportunities for its nearly 800,000 workers into renewable energy, technology, products used in recreation and film.
Idaho Job Opportunities
The Gem State's outdoor recreational activities and natural wonders, including Hells Canyon (the nation's deepest river gorge) and Lava Hot Springs, attract more than 20 million visitors annually, making tourism an important employment sector. The miles of farmland, trout-filled waters and low-cost manufacturing operations also support employment in Idaho. Other important Idaho job sectors include healthcare, food processing, timber and mining.
The trade, transportation and utilities sector accounts for more than 20 percent of Idaho jobs, followed by the government sector. Most industries have been reporting job expansion in 2012 with manufacturing; education/health services; and trade, transportation and utilities showing the strongest percentage job gains. The government and financial activities sectors have cut jobs.
Idaho Employment Trends
Idaho's employment situation is gaining momentum. The state's unemployment rate, which remained below 9 percent during the recession, was less than 8 percent by mid-2012. Idaho payrolls have shown positive job growth since mid-2011 and were gaining momentum in early 2012. Though online hiring volume dipped in 2011 and early 2012, positive job gains were seen in mid-2012.
Employment in Idaho will increase 1.9 percent between Q2 2012 and Q2 2013, higher than the 1.3 percent growth expected in the supply of US jobs, Moody's Analytics forecasts.