The U.S. Census Bureau has taken a closer look at business on the state and county levels. The agency released this map today that shows where Idaho’s businesses are concentrated, their estimated number of employees and the estimated annual payroll.
The 2011 data from the American Community Survey shows there were 42,399 businesses in Idaho, employing 482,772 with an annual payroll of $16.8 billion. The statistics don’t include self-employed businesses, employees of private households, or government.
Why does Idaho come in ninth in one index evaluating state business taxes and climates, but 31st in another?
According to a report published today by Good Jobs First, a nonprofit that focuses on accountability in economic development and business subsidies, there’s a simple answer: the enterprise of ranking states’ business climates is fundamentally flawed.
“There is no such thing as a ‘state business climate,’” says Good Jobs First Director Greg LeRoy. Businesses, he says, generally make location decisions based on the qualities of a particular metro area, not of an entire state. Continue Reading
Single-family home prices rose by 9.3 percent in February compared to a year earlier, their fastest rate of growth in nearly seven years. That’s according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index, which is based on 20 metropolitan areas, not including Boise.
Data from the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service show single-family home prices in Ada and Canyon counties have appreciated at an even faster rate. The average home price in Ada County stood at $210,672 in February, a 14.6 percent increase from the year before. In Canyon County, the average home price was $121,867, a nearly 12.5 percent increase from February of 2012. Continue Reading
Last year, many of Idaho’s irrigated farmers fared well despite dry conditions because snow and rainfall the year before left reservoirs full. This year the picture is different. There’s less carryover — the term water managers use to describe the water that remains in reservoirs from the previous year — and dry conditions persist.
Farmer Jim Tiede, who grows sugar beets, potatoes, corn and wheat on 3,000 acres near American Falls, says he’s planning for a lower than usual water allocation from the Aberdeen-Springfield Canal. Continue Reading
More than a dozen states have put caps on payday loan interest rates, limiting and in some cases shutting down the industry in many states.
The pitch to cap rates in Idaho hasn’t been successful. Still, big banks have started offering short-term, high-interest loans to make up for the loss in the payday lending industry.