Bringing the Economy Home


Construction: The Heart of Idaho's Recession


Paul Bradbury / Getty Images

Construction workers surveying a job site

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Idaho’s construction industry lost 10,000 jobs from 2008 to 2009 according to the state Department of Labor.  Labor spokesman Bob Fick said job losses in construction and manufacturing was the heart of Idaho’s recession.

“Once you suck those jobs out — and they’re really good paying jobs, said Fick, then you see the ripple effects in retail and services and almost all other sectors because people don’t have any money to spend.”

State and private economists agree recovery in the construction industry will be slow.  The Division of Financial Management predicts the industry will lose another 1,300 jobs by the end of 2011.  It’s likely the state won’t be able to measure growth here until 2014.

Derek Santos is the Chief Economist at the Division of Financial Management.  “Despite its anticipated growth, construction employment comes nowhere close to regaining its previous peak,” Santos wrote in the July 2011 forecast.  “Instead, there are about as many jobs (forecast) in 2014 as there were in 2009.”

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