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Economy
Do you remember Idaho's unemployment rate just as the recession was being noticed? It was 3%. The National Bureau of Economic Research said the great recession started in December 2007 and ended in June 2009. Since those declarations, Idaho's unemployment rate climbed to its peak of 8.8% in August 2010. By August 2011 it had dropped to 8.4%, and by August 2012 it was down to 7%.

One Prognosticator Says Idaho Will Be State With Biggest Job Growth This Year

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According to business and finance publisher Kiplinger, Idaho will be the state with the biggest job growth this year. Kiplinger predicts 23,580 new jobs in Idaho in 2016. That’s a growth rate of 3.5 percent, which beats Arizona, the next state on the list, by a third of a percentage point.

“The Gem State is home to booming tech and aerospace industries, as well as military bases that boost spending in surrounding areas. And as Idaho attracts more residents from other states, companies both old and new are expanding here…” - Kiplinger

The article cites several planned company expansions in Idaho. In food processing it says there will be hiring from Simplot and Chobani and more manufacturing jobs with Micron and American Food Equipment.

That last example shows what may be a major strength for Idaho: land.

“The San Francisco Bay area-based [American Food Equipment] couldn’t find room to expand where it was, illustrating how restricted land availability and high cost of living in parts of California are causing companies to look to nearby states for expansion.” – Kiplinger

Some of Idaho’s neighbors also made the top 10 for fastest-predicted job growth. Utah came in third at 3.1 percent growth. Oregon was fourth at 3 percent. And Washington came in at number seven with 2.8 percent growth predicted. Seven of the top ten are in the West and three are in the Southeast.

Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam

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