U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Located in:
  • II. Strategic Elements

    The Unified or Combined State Plan must include a Strategic Planning Elements section that analyzes the State’s current economic environment and identifies the State’s overall vision for its workforce development system.  The required elements in this section allow the State to develop data-driven goals for preparing an educated and skilled workforce and to identify successful strategies for aligning workforce development programs to support economic growth.  Unless otherwise noted, all Strategic Planning Elements apply to Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan as well as to core programs. 

II. a. 1. A. Economic Analysis

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an analysis of the economic conditions and trends in the State, including sub-State regions and any specific economic areas identified by the State.  This must include—

  • i. Existing Demand Industry Sectors and Occupations

    Provide an analysis of the industries and occupations for which there is existing demand.

  • ii. Emerging Demand Industry Sectors and Occupations

    Provide an analysis of the industries and occupations for which demand is emerging.

  • iii. Employers’ Employment Needs

    With regard to the industry sectors and occupations identified in (A)(i) and (ii), provide an assessment of the employment needs of employers, including a description of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required, including credentials and licenses.

Current Narrative:

(i) Existing Demand Industry Sectors and Occupations

This section analyzes Idaho’s high-demand industries and provides an overview of Idaho’s Target Sectors. It also covers Idaho’s high-demand occupations, including an analysis of Idaho’s “Hot Jobs” list.

High-Demand Industries

High demand industries can be defined in several ways. Most commonly they are industries with the largest number of workers. However, for the purpose of analyzing Idaho’s industrial make-up to determine what industries might be the best to target, that industry’s employment as a percentage of nonfarm employment and its rate of job growth over a period of time will also be part of the equation, employment in the government sectors, excepting education, will not be included in the discussion of job growth and target industries. Government employment is important but its jobs are not actively created but most often support efforts in private industry. There are industries that cross multiple sectors and are not considered formal industries in the North American Industrial Classification System, commonly known as NAICS. Two of these often referred to are tourism and high tech. These hybrid industries do have an impact on Idaho’s economy but are a combination of several industrial sectors. Just as these two industries are made up of smaller industrial classifications, specific occupations can be found in many industries. That is why it is important that the analysis of demand industries is not limited just to those with the highest number of workers.

Idaho Department of Labor preliminary data 2019 shows Idaho had 755,800 nonfarm payroll jobs. Total nonfarm employment is further classified in seven industry supersectors. As per Table 1 (Data Appendix Table 1 – for detailed Nonfarm Jobs), the seven highest-demand supersectors, based on both the number of jobs and percent of nonfarm jobs accounted for nearly two-thirds of nonfarm jobs in Idaho in 2019. These seven supersectors are health care and social services; retail trade; manufacturing; accommodation and food services; construction; administrative support services and waste management services; and professional, scientific and technical services. The number of jobs in these seven supersectors range from 97,500 to 42,800.

Employment growth and trends since 2007 illustrate the effects of the last recession as well as the recovery. Since 2007, each of the seven supersectors has shown significant growth. The number of nonfarm jobs increased by 101,100 over the past 12 years. The recession caused a dramatic loss of 51,500 jobs between 2007 and 2010. After that, Idaho’s economy created 152,600 new jobs. The seven supersectors accounted for 65 percent of the growth from 2007. Health care and social services added the most jobs—32,100, while manufacturing added the fewest—3,900. Construction, like manufacturing, experienced devastating job losses during the recession but grew significantly after 2010. However, construction, which the recession hit hardest of all sectors, remains 1,300 jobs below its 2007 level.

Table 1: Employment in Idaho Private Supersectors Adding the Most Jobs, 2007-2019

Supersectors2007201020192007-19,  Difference2010-19, Difference
Health Care & Social Services65,40073,90097,50032,10023,600
Retail Trade83,50074,90089,0005,50014,100
Accommodation & Food Services54,20049,50067,60013,40018,100
Administsrative Support & Waste Mgt45,20039,70050,0004,80010,300
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services31,80029,90042,80011,00012,900
Idaho Nonfarm Payroll Jobs654,700603,200755,800101,100152,600

Another way to determine demand industries is by the percent increase in the number of jobs. Following the recession, jobs in six supersectors grew more than 30 percent, while total nonfarm jobs grew 25.3 percent between 2010 and 2019. They were construction (62 percent); professional, scientific and technical services (43.1 percent); accommodation and food services (36.6 percent); arts, entertainment and recreation (34.1 percent); manufacturing and health care and social services (both at 31.9 percent). Table 2 provides information on both the numeric and percentage growth of those supersectors.

Table 2: Employment in Idaho’s Seven Fastest-Growing Private Supersectors, 2007-2019

Supersectors2007201020192007-19, Numeric Change2010-19, Numeric Change2007-19, Percent Change2010-19, Percent Change
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services31,80029,90042,80011,00012,90034.6%43.1%
Accommodation & Food Services54,20049,50067,60013,40018,10024.7%36.6%
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation9,1008,50011,4002,3002,90025.3%34.1%
Health Care & Social Services65,40073,90097,50032,10023,60049.1%31.9%
Retail Trade83,50074,90089,0005,50014,1006.6%18.8%
Idaho Nonfarm Payroll Jobs654,700603,200755,800101,100152,60015.4%25.3%

Idaho Target Sectors

In 2019 Idaho Department of Labor staff along with the Workforce Development Council leadership began discussing potential target industries for the state. The group analyzed the number of current jobs and gross domestic product (GDP) in each supersector. Table 3 ranks the supersectors by employment and gross domestic product. While health care, retail trade and manufacturing ranked highest in employment, in the share of GDP real estate tops all supersectors leaving healthcare, retail trade and manufacturing the next top contributors.  In the industry makeup of the state retail trade is a large supersector and while many of its jobs are entry-level and low-skill this supersector is prime as springboard for workforce development and skill enhancement.

Education, jobs in education are primarily found in the government sector and as such rank low in both employment and contributions to GDP but this category is vital for the state for it provides educational opportunities and skill development for current and future work force.

Table 3: Ranking of Private Supersectors by Employment and GDP: 2019*

Industry SectorEmploymentRankGDPRank
Total Nonfarm Payroll Jobs (Private only)628,900 $69,413.7 
Health Care & Social Services97,5001$6,799.63
Retail Trade89,0002$6,158.14
Accommodation & Food Services67,6004$2,623.311
Administrative, Support & Waste Mgt50,0006$3,012.210
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services 42,8007$4,498.07
Wholesale Trade30,2008$4,852.16
Finance & Insurance28,8009$3,607.48
Other Services26,30010$1,595.514
Transportation & Warehousing25,40011$2,406.012
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation11,40012$662.917
Educational Services10,90013$650.718
Real Estate & Rental & Leasing9,10014$11,050.01
Management Of Companies & Enterprises7,30016$934.716
Natural Resources*3,50017NA** 
Mining, Quarrying, & Oil & Gas ExtractionNA** $267.719
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & HuntingNA** $3,294.99

*2019 Nonfarm Annual Average & GDP 2 Quarter Average    **Natural Resources in nonfarm employment includes agriculture & mining

Employment projections, wages paid and the multiplier impact of supersectors on Idaho’s economy are also important areas to look at. Staffing patterns of the potential supersectors were analyzed by high demand, hot jobs and wages. Based on those criteria, the analysis identified five especially promising areas: health care and social services; manufacturing; accommodation and food services; construction and professional scientific and technical services. (Data Appendix Table 2 – for detailed Target Industries Jobs)

The Research and Analysis Bureau presents economic updates on a quarterly basis regarding Idaho’s target supersectors to the Workforce Development Council. These updates and data are discussed at the Council level to monitor the continued relevance of these clusters in real time and measure their impact on Idaho’s economy and workforce.

The five target supersectors are projected to grow significantly during the next 10 years. Growth also will occur in other supersectors including retail trade; transportation and warehousing; educational services; wholesale trade; and administrative support services and waste management.

Table 4: Private Supersector Ranked by Projected Employment Growth, 2016-2026

Supersector2016 Jobs2026 JobsGrowth in NumbersGrowth Rank% Change % Rank
Total Employment735,429841,050105,621 14.4% 
Health Care and Social Assistance94,539116,48021,941123.2%4
Accommodation & Food Services61,49971,2259,726315.8%6
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services34,36838,4284,060811.8%13

Together, these target supersectors provide more than 40 percent of Idaho jobs. The largest is health care and social assistance currently providing 13 percent of all jobs and projected to increase to 14 percent over ten years. The smallest is professional, scientific and technical services at nearly 5 percent. Table 4 shows that each of the target supersectors will continue to grow and provide job opportunities for Idaho’s work force.

  • Health Care and Social Services comprises ambulatory medical care, hospitals, nursing, residential care, child care, vocational rehabilitation services and mental health services. Many of the services provided by this sector are delivered by trained professionals. All establishments have labor inputs of health practitioners or social workers with the necessary expertise. This supersector, which include public and private employment, provides 12.9 percent of Idaho’s jobs. Although this sector includes only four major industry categories, it includes more than 150 occupations. (Data Appendix Tables 10a and 10b – Health Care & Social Services Industries and Occupations)
  • Manufacturing includes a wide range of activities—from food processing and wood processing to making computer and electronic products and transportation equipment. Food processing and transportation equipment are the fastest growing manufacturing sectors. Many of Idaho’s high tech jobs are in the manufacturing supersector. The percent of nonfarm jobs in manufacturing averaged 9.3 percent from 2007 to 2019. (Data Appendix Tables 11a and 11b - Manufacturing Industries and Occupations)
  • Accommodation and Food Services comprises eight industries - three in the accommodation sector and five in food services. Restaurants employ the most people in this supersector. The percentage of Idaho’s nonfarm jobs in the supersector grew from 8.3 percent in 2007 to 8.9 percent in 2019. (Data Appendix Tables 12a and 12b – Accommodation and Food Services Industries and Occupations)
  • Construction comprises nine industries, ranging from residential and highway construction to special trade contractors such as electricians and plumbers. Construction employment as a percent of nonfarm employment peaked in 2007 at 8 percent but fell to a low of 4.8 percent in 2011-2012 as a result of the recession. Since then the percent of jobs increased each year, reaching 6.7 percent by 2019. (Data Appendix Tables 13a and 13b - Construction Industries and Occupations)
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services comprises nine industries including: legal services; accounting and tax preparation; architectural and engineering; computer systems design; consulting; scientific research; and advertising. There are nearly 200 occupations in this supersector, which consistently provides slightly more than 5 percent of Idaho’s nonfarm jobs and some of the highest paid occupations. (Data Appendix Tables 14a and 14b –Professional, Scientific and Technical Services Industries and Occupations)

These targeted sectors may also cross occupations. A listing of Hot Jobs within the target sector industries can be found in Data Appendix Table 16 - Hot Jobs for Target Industries. This table sorts the hot jobs by annual openings, which includes openings due to exits, transfers and new, through 2026. Each occupation is followed by the target sector(s) that includes it.

High-Demand Occupations

Occupations generally cross industries. Some will be more prominent in specific industries but can be found to a lesser degree in others. For example, although most nurses work in health care, some work in manufacturing, retail, education and other supersectors. Similarly, food service workers mostly work at restaurants and related businesses, but some work at school cafeterias, retail stores, hospitals, and nursing homes.

Occupations are considered high-demand if they have at least 100 openings annually. Average annual opening reflect churn in the labor force. Openings includes those individuals that left that particular occupation for some reason, those individuals that transferred out of a particular occupation to another one and then openings that are new due to growth in that particular occupation. Table 5 lists the top ten high-demand occupations, ranked by the number of annual openings –which include transfers, exits and new jobs. Table 6 lists the top ten high-demand occupations, ranked by the number of new jobs.

Table 5: Top 10 High-Demand Occupations Ranked by Annual Openings

Occupational Title2016 Jobs2026 Projected JobsAnnual ExitsAnnual TransfersNew JobsAnnual Openings*Median Hourly WageEd Level**
Combined Food Preparation & Serving Workers, inc. Fast Food19,20724,1761,9212,0094974,427$8.92LHS
Retail Salespersons24,45127,6961,6512,0693244,044$11.04LHS
Customer Service Representatives22,69625,6841,2371,8152993,351$13.71HSDE
Personal Care Aides12,22816,7551,1578714532,481$10.20HSDE
Office Clerks, General15,62816,159933909531,895$13.70HSDE
Cooks, Fast Food12,89813,0627601,038161,814$8.55LHS
Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers12,27914,7475738492471,669$18.33PNDA
Janitors & Cleaners, exc. Maids & Housekeeping Cleaners9,92211,2896906671371,494$10.96LHS
Laborers & Freight, Stock, & Material Movers, Hand8,6779,9594627971281,387$12.60LHS

*Annual Openings include openings due to exits, transfers and projected growth (New Jobs)     **Education Level-See Data Appendix Table 7

Table 6: Top 10 High-Demand Occupations Ranked by Number of New Jobs

Occupational Title2016 Jobs2026 Projected JobsNew JobsMedian Hourly WageEducation Level*
Combined Food Prep. & Serving Workers, inc. Fast Food19,20724,176497$8.92LHS
Personal Care Aides12,22816,755453$10.20HSDE
Registered Nurses13,18017,045386$29.90BD
Retail Salespersons24,45127,696324$11.04LHS
Customer Service Representatives22,69625,684299$13.71HSDE
Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers12,27914,747247$18.33PNDA
General & Operations Managers11,67013,475180$31.53BD
Nursing Assistants7,4209,031161$11.93PNDA
Janitors & Cleaners, exc. Maids & Housekeeping Cleaners9,92211,289137$10.96LHS

**Education Level-See Data Appendix Table 7

Although the occupation “combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food” ranks number one on both tables, the addition of registered nurses, general operation managers and nursing assistants provides a different perspective of high demand jobs. Churn should always be considered but the number of new job opportunities should be a priority. A complete list of the high-demand occupations are in Data Appendix Tables 4 and 5, High Demand Occupations and High Demand New Jobs.

The Idaho Department of Labor defines Idaho’s hot jobs — as the jobs that generally require some training, pay a better wage and are predicted to be in high demand. Specifically, the criteria used to determine which jobs are included on the hot jobs list include (1) the number of annual openings, (2) median wage, and (3) projected growth. Some hot jobs have fewer than 50 openings a year, but make the list due to their high wages and projected growth. For example, the occupation of “physician assistant” has only 20 annual openings, but the median wage and growth rate are very high. The top 20 hot jobs are listed below. A complete list of all 50 of Idaho’s Hot Jobs is included in Data Appendix X Table 10 - Idaho Hot Jobs.

Table 7: Top 20 Hot Jobs by Ranking

Hot Job RankingOccupational Title2026 Projected EmploymentPercent ChangeNew JobsAnnual Openings*Median WageEducation Level**
1Registered Nurses17,04529.3%3861,147$29.90BD
2Software Developers, Applications2,63930.2%61208$38.15BD
3Nurse Practitioners89035.1%2360$46.19MD
4Physician Assistants81832.8%2057$45.22MD
5Information Security Analysts67130.3%1656$41.95BD
6Industrial Machinery Mechanics2,92723.2%55282$24.58HSDE
7Market Research Analysts & Marketing Specialists1,79827.7%39191$24.23BD
9Physical Therapists1,12026.3%2363$37DPD
10Loan Officers3,33920.3%56300$26.13BD
11Respiratory Therapists91251.2%3166$26.47AD
12Healthcare Social Workers75125.4%1582$25.65MD
13Industrial Engineers1,28215.4%1793$43.41BD
14Occupational Therapists53425.4%1134$35.71MD
15Management Analysts2,02615.2%27186$30.69BD
16Accountants & Auditors4,80014.5%61453$29.54BD
17Diagnostic Medical Sonographers41135.2%1129$33.99AD
18Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers14,74720.1%2471,669$18.33PNDA
19Cost Estimators1,33717.7%20139$25.71BD
20Radiologic Technologists1,10823.0%2172$25.27AD

*Annual Openings include openings due to exits, transfers and projected growth (New Jobs)     **Education Level-See Data Appendix Table 7                    SOURCE: Idaho Department of Labor Occupational Projections, 2016-2026

The list below shows major occupational groups and how many of Idaho’s 50 hot jobs are included and the projected annual openings from those occupations.

  • Architecture and Engineering – One occupation requiring a bachelor’s degree , 93 openings
  • Business and Finance - Nine occupations all requiring a bachelor’s degree, 1,883 openings
  • Community and Social Service - Two occupations requiring a master’s degree or a bachelor’s degree, 167 openings
  • Computer and Mathematical - Four occupations—three requiring a bachelor’s degree and one an associate’s degree, 384 openings
  • Construction and Extractions - Two occupations both requiring a high school diploma or equivalent, 889 openings
  • Education, Training and Library - Four occupations requiring a bachelor’s degree or a doctoral or professional degree, 1,377 openings
  • Healthcare Practitioners and Technical - Fourteen occupations—one requiring at least a high school diploma for one occupations while the others range from postsecondary non-degree training to a doctoral or professional degree, 2,013 openings
  • Healthcare Support - One occupation requiring a postsecondary non-degree, 465 openings
  • Installation, Maintenance and Repair - Five occupations all requiring a high school diploma or equivalent, 936 openings
  • Office and Administrative Support - One occupation requiring a high school diploma or equivalent, 183 openings
  • Production – One occupation requiring a high school diploma or equivalent, 433 openings
  • Sales and Related - Five occupations—four requiring a high school diploma or equivalent and one requiring a bachelor's degree, 1,181 openings
  • Transportation and Material Moving - One occupation requiring a postsecondary non-degree award, 1,669 openings

Of the 50 hot jobs, 36 require some type of training beyond high school, and only one of the top 20 do not. Projected growth of these occupations, coupled with education data and direct input from representatives of Idaho industries, lend strong support to the state’s goal to increase educational attainment beyond high school. It is vital that Idaho’s labor force seek educational opportunities to qualify for the hot jobs projected over the next 10 years.

The Research and Analysis Bureau in the Idaho Department of Labor publishes a monthly job listing report. The report provides current data on the number of job openings in Idaho for each month, the number of new openings and the number of jobs that have been unfilled for 90 days or more. The jobs are ranked by the monthly average listings. “New listings” are those listed for the first time that month. The number of listings open 90 days or more are considered hard-to-fill. The wages are presented as the median annual wage rather than the median hourly rate because that is what is published monthly. Many of the top 20 job listings are also on the high demand occupations based on occupational employment projections. Most of those occupations show up at the top of the job listings every month due to high demand. However, some such as forest and conservation technicians and construction laborers are seasonal. The top 20 job listings for 2019 are listed below.

Table 8: Average Monthly Job Listings, 2019

RankOccupational Title2019 Average Job Listings 2019 Average New Job Listings2019 Average Job Lisitings Opened 90 Days or MoreMedian Annual Wage (OES)Education Level*
 Total, All Occupations26,7258,9256,443$34,260 
1Registered Nurses3,9071,344329$66,780BD
2Customer Service Representatives824233215$30,920HSDE
3Retail Salespersons795186234$24,020LHS
4First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers788153243$38,530HSDE
5Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers646305117$39,280PNDA
6Stock Clerks and Order Fillers534176125$26,000HSDE
7First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation & Serving Workers3896294$28,830HSDE
8Maintenance & Repair Workers, General33313166$34,010HSDE
9Light Truck or Delivery Services Driver3259170$29,960HSDE
10Physicians & Surgeons, Other32364126*DPD
12Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, inc. Fast Food3137078$18,960LHS
13Software Developers, Applications3059880$83,510BD
14Forest & Conservation Technicians295106174$33,400AS
15Nursing Assistants2919184$26,770BD
16Janitors & Cleaners, exc. Maids & Housekeeping Cleaners28112066$24,180LHS
17First-Line Supervisors of Office & Administrative Support Workers26710652$48,470HSDE
18Computer Occupations, All Other2549353$78,090BD
19Construction Laborers24413047$30,970LHS
20Computer User Support Specialists2308047$44,730 SCND

 *Education Level-See Data Appendix Table 7                                                                                                                                                                                 NOTE: Median Annual Wage is from the 2019 Occupational Employment & Wage Survey released in May 2019                                                                                  Median Hourly Wage is from the Occupational Projections released in 2018                                                                                                                            SOURCE: Idaho Department of Labor - Communications & Research Division & The Conference Board's Help Wanted OnLine

(ii) Emerging Demand Industry Sectors and Occupations & (iii) Employers' Employment Needs

This section analyzes emerging demand industry sectors and occupations by way of examining high growth industries and occupations. In several cases, industries and occupations that have previously been discussed as high demand are also high growth. For example: health care and social services, retail trade and accommodation and food services are all high growth industrial sectors as well as having current high demand.

However, there are some occupations that are not currently high demand, but are growing— such as pharmacists or market research analysts. Additionally, subsectors within a high-demand industry may be emerging. For example, ample evidence collected recently through community forums, business conferences and other discussions indicate Idaho’s small manufacturers are experiencing growth and have the ability to grow even more. Additionally, over one-third of the growth in the health care field is projected to occur in ambulatory health care services, which include doctor’s offices, outpatient care centers, home health care and laboratories. These and other trends are discussed in greater depth under “Growth Industries” and “Growth Occupations.”

Growth Industries

This section examines Idaho’s industries in terms of projected employment growth. The industrial supersectors projected to have the largest net job growth between 2016 and 2026 are:

  • Health Care and Social Assistance – 21,941
  • Retail Trade - 10,612
  • Accommodation and Food Services – 9,726
  • Transportation & Warehousing – 7,904
  • Construction – 7,308
  • Educational Services (include private and government jobs) - 7,068

The graphs in Figures 1 and 2 present data on both the net growth and relative growth of the industries listed above, as well as several other industries. Specific information for these and other high-growth industries is provided the following graphs.

Figure 1: Idaho's Industries by Net Growth, 2016-2026.  Growth is demonstrated by number of jobs, similar to bulleted list presented earlier

Figure 2: Idaho's Industries by Relative Growth, 2016-2026. Similar to previous graphic, except it notes growth in terms of percentages, not real numbers.

Most of these industries are already among Idaho’s largest. However, the new emerging and revitalized industries could be identified as manufacturing; professional, scientific and technical services; wholesale trade; and administrative and support services. Each of these emerging industries are projected to add more than 3,000 jobs to its work force by 2026. An analysis of the growth in each industry sector follows.

Health Care and Social Assistance: Over the long-term, the health care and social assistance sector is projected to add the most new jobs at 21,941. However, it ranks fourth in percentage growth at 23 percent. The aging workforce and in-migration of retirees will continue to drive significant growth in this sector. Over 46 percent of the growth is projected to occur in hospitals - general, surgical, psychiatric and substance abuse facilities. Ambulatory health care services, which include doctor’s offices, outpatient care centers, home health care and laboratories is projected to grow by nearly 24 percent, nearly 5,200 jobs over the next 10 years. Nursing homes and residential care facilities will add 3,200 jobs by 2026. Social assistance is projected to add nearly 3,400 jobs, growing 15 percent, as more individuals and families are seeking counseling, services for the elderly and disabled, assistance with retraining, emergency food and shelter, and day care services. The growth and aging of Idaho’s population will foster this industry’s growth. Idaho’s health care will grow about 23 percent between 2016 and 2026. Its rapid growth has led to shortages in many health care occupations. More than half of the high demand jobs are in the health care industry with the education ranging from a professional degree to less than a high school education.

Retail Trade: Jobs in retail trade will expand as the population grows and the overall economy continues to expand. Retail employment ranked second in fastest growth but ninth in net job growth. The number of new jobs added by 2026 will be just over 10,500 with a 12.6 percent growth rate. Nearly 43 percent of the job growth is projected to be at general merchandise stores, in spite of many major brick and mortar stores closing. Employment growth is projected to be nearly 15 percent at motor vehicle and parts dealers, the next largest sector in retail trade. Retail employment is dominated by retail salespeople and cashiers, two of the top four high-demand occupations. Other high-demand occupations include first-line supervisors and managers of retail sales workers; bookkeepers, accounting and auditing clerks, stock clerks and order filers. Most of these jobs require minimum education or training beyond high school.

Accommodation and Food Services: Accommodation and food services industries, the largest part of the leisure and hospitality sector, is projected to add more than 9,700 jobs between 2016 and 2026. Jobs in the food services industry will account for 80 percent of this growth. It is estimated 7,800 job openings will include waiters and waitresses, food preparation and serving workers, counter attendants, dishwashers and cooks. Only restaurant cooks require more than short-term training. Most of these jobs require interaction with the public so good people skills are of relevant importance. Growth in Idaho’s population and increased tourism activity will contribute to the employment increase.

Transportation and Warehousing: Transportation and warehousing— a component of the trade, transportation and utilities sector—makes up about 17 percent of the sector’s employment. Transportation and warehousing ranks fourth in numeric growth but first in percentage growth at nearly 42 percent. Most of the growth will come from the trucking industry. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers rank eight among Idaho’s high demand jobs and require a postsecondary non-degree certification

Construction: Construction employment is projected have the fifth largest percentage growth at 29 percent, resulting in the addition of 7,300 new jobs. Nearly 50 percent of the new jobs will be in specialty trades including painting, electrician, and plumbing businesses. Nonresidential building will have the smallest uptick at 906 jobs. With the demand for new homes and the improved financial climate, jobs in residential building construction are predicted to increase by over 2,000. Construction employment in 2026 was projected to be 46,800.  Although current employment of 50,300 exceeds that projected level, it still remains slightly below the 2007 high of 52,000 jobs Eighth construction occupations are in the top 100 high demand. Construction laborers will be the highest demand, ranking 20th, with less than a high school degree acceptable. Carpenters and electricians are in the top 50.

Education Services: Education services are forecast to add over 7,000 jobs, 12 percent increase, by 2026, in both public and private schools from kindergarten through postsecondary. Education accounts for more than half of government jobs. As Idaho’s population continues to grow, student populations will rise. Although Idaho’s economy is growing, schools continue to experience budget constraints. Some school districts have passed bond and levy elections to help ease local budgets and upgrade facilities and equipment, however, local school districts in many rural areas of Idaho continue to struggle with their budgets. Inadequate public school facilities and overcrowding--which is expensive to address and can become a barrier to attracting new residents to an area. The current budget pressures on public education will have a direct effect on the structure of Idaho’s economy. Secondary and elementary school teachers are among the top 50 high demand occupations.

Manufacturing: Manufacturing struggled the first few years of the decade following the recession, but rebounded after 2011. By 2026 employment is projected to reach nearly 70,000, an increase of nearly 6,000 jobs ranking it seventh in growth. Food processing will account for 44 percent of the growth. The computer industry’s employment is projected to decrease by 3.4 percent which had a negative impact in the growth in manufacturing.

 Professional, Scientific and Technical Services: Professional, Scientific and Technical Services— a major component of the professional and business services sector—is projected to add 4,000 jobs ranking eighth for the number of jobs added and 13th for percentage growth. This industry includes accounting, legal, engineering services, computer system design, management consulting services and scientific research. More broadly, the professional and business services sector is forecast to add 9,000 jobs over the next seven years. This growth includes an estimated demand for 3,000 workers by administrative services. Within this industry, fastest growing occupations are computer-related, including software engineers and network analysts. Accountants and other types of financial workers will be in strong demand as well as demand for workers in scientific research.

Growth Occupations

This section examines Idaho’s occupations both in terms of net growth (number) and relative growth (percentage). An occupation with large relative growth may not necessarily add a large number of jobs. A total of 20 occupations are projected to experience very high relative growth between 2016 and 2026, defined as an increase of 20 percent or more in total number of jobs. However, the majority of these high-growth occupations have less than 500 annual openings. Openings do not just come from the addition of new jobs but also from the need to replace workers that are exiting the occupation or leaving the labor force. Of the 70 fastest growing occupations, only 14 have at least 1,000 annual openings but only four are shown in Table 9. Of the 20 occupations listed below, six have more than 100 new job openings and eight require more than a high school education. Table 6 in Data Appendix provides a list of the relative growth of occupations with at least 200 openings.

Table 9: Idaho Demand Occupations by Projected Relative Growth (Percent Change)

RankOccupational Title2016 Employment2026 Projected EmploymentNet ChangeNew JobsAnnual Openings*Percent ChangeMedian Hourly WageEd Level**
 Total, All Occupations686,864780,73293,8689,38790,30013.7%$15.77 
1Home Health Aides1,8882,6247367432539.0%$9.87HSDE
2Personal Care Aides12,22816,7554,5274532,48137.0%$10.20HSDE
3Medical & Health Services Managers1,8732,3574844820830.2%$38.36BD
4Registered Nurses13,18017,0453,8653861,14729.3%$29.90BD
5Financial Managers2,0762,6385625622727.1%$38.26BD
6Combined Food Preparation & Serving Workers, inc.Fast Food19,20724,1764,9694974,42725.9%$8.92LHS
7Software Developers, Applications2,0272,6396126120825.8%$38.15BD
8Maids & Housekeeping Cleaners3,8934,8469539566324.5%$9.77LHS
9Medical Assistants3,2744,0627887946524.1%$14.66PNDA
10Hotel, Motel & Resort Desk Clerks1,5141,8683543529623.4%$10.32HSDE
11Industrial Machinery Mechanics2,3762,9275512028223.2%$24.58HSDE
12Cleaners of Vehicles & Equipment2,4112,9395285342321.9%$9.55LHS
13Nursing Assistants7,4209,0311,6111611,07721.7%$11.93PNDA
14Bus and Truck Mechanics & Diesel Engine Specialists1,7012,0583573620121.0%$18.70HSDE
15First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades & Extraction Workers3,0313,6576266338120.7%$26.90HSDE
17Loan Officers2,7763,3395635630020.3%$26.13BD
18Cooks, Restaurant1,2381,4892512521420.3%$11LHS
19Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers12,27914,7472,4682471,66920.1%$18.33PNDA
20Cement Masons & Concrete Finishers1,7592,1103513524020.0%$17.04LHS

*Annual Openings include openings due to exits, transfers and projected growth (New Jobs)     **Education Level-See Data Appendix Table 7                    SOURCE: Idaho Department of Labor Occupational Projections, 2016-2026