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Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Boise began as a supply and service center for the mining camps in the nearby mountains. It continues today as an important commercial hub for smaller towns and agricultural establishments in the northern Rockies. In addition to mining, farming and timber have played important roles in the development of the Boise economy.

The present economy has shifted away from its traditional sources towards a more diversified base. State government is one of the city's main employers, since Boise is the capital of Idaho. Boise ranks sixth in the nation for the number of corporate headquarters located in the city (in relation to its population base); corporate headquarters in the city include Albertson's, a supermarket chain; Boise Cascade wood and paper products; Morrison Knudsen, an engineering and construction firm; the J.R. Simplot Company with frozen foods, phosphates, and cattle; Micron Technology, which manufactures semiconductors; TJ International, with specialty building products; and Washington Group International. Several other major companies are headquartered or have major facilities in the area. Tourism is another large source of revenue for the Boise area. High technology industries are becoming an increasingly important sector, and the Army National Guard's Gowen Field also has an economic impact.

Incentive Programs?New and Existing Companies

Local programs

Boise State University provides various services for the business community through its Idaho Business and Economic Development Center, Boise Future Foundation, Center for Management Development, Simplot/Micron Instructional Technology Center, Small Business Development Center, and the College of Technology.

State programs

The state of Idaho encourages business development through low taxes, reasonable rates, and tax incentives such as job creation and investment credits and tax exemptions.

Job training programs

Several training schools are located in the Boise area.

Development Projects

Boise is working on three major ongoing urban renewal projects. The oldest project, called the Central renewal project, is focused on downtown Boise's core and has resulted in the vibrant downtown Boise visitors and residents see today. Ongoing funding of the Central project is planned for use in additional infrastructure, beautification and public arts projects. The River/Myrtle renewal project, also underway, is located south of downtown Boise. With a focus on attracting high-tech tenants, this urban renewal project is developing a technical infrastructure. The Westside renewal project encompasses 47 acres of downtown Boise. Renewal plans encompass a 25-year span with completion of all projects in 2025. The Westside project will bring multi-use development to downtown, including office, residential, retail, restaurants, entertainment venues, and hotels.

Economic Development Information: Boise Metro Area Economic Development Council (Shirl Boyce), 250 S. 5th St., Suite 800, Boise, ID 83702; telephone (208)472-5230, sboyce@boisechamber.org

Commercial Shipping

A Grant Thornton General Manufacturing Climates study ranked Idaho the best state in the nation for transportation because of its infrastructure and strategic location in the Pacific Northwest. Rail freight carriers serve the Boise metropolitan area via the Union Pacific Railroad. A variety of motor freight lines, air freight, package express companies, and air courier services are also part of Boise's commercial transportation industry.

Labor Force and Employment

Boise's skilled work force is educated above the national average and it remains diverse because of a high percentage of immigration. Thirty-three percent of residents have a bachelor's degree or higher; the Boise metro area was ranked the seventh best place to do business in the nation by Forbes magazine in 2004.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Boise-Nampa metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.

Size of non-agricultural labor force: 241,600

Number of workers employed in . . . construction and mining: 17,100

manufacturing: 29,500

trade, transportation and utilities: 45,800

financial services: 12,900

information: 4,200

professional and business services: 34,700

educational and health services: 29,700

leisure and hospitality: 21,500

other services: 6,900

government: 38,800

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing (statewide): $13.72

Unemployment rate: 4.4% (February 2005)

Largest private employers Number of employees
Micron Technology, Inc. 9,500
St. Luke's Medical Center 4,250
Hewlett-Packard Company 4,000
Albertson's, Inc. (retail food chain) 3,800
J.R. Simplot 3,800

Cost of Living

Boise boasts rates for residential, commercial, and industrial electricity and natural gas that are among the lowest in the country.

The following is a summary of data regarding key cost of living factors for the Boise area.

2004 (4th Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported

2004 (4th Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported (U.S. average = 100.0)

State income tax rate: Ranges from 2.0% to 8.2%

State sales tax rate: 5.0%

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: 5%

Property tax rate: average 1.7% in 2004; ranges from 1 to 2.7

Idaho Job and Employment Headlines. 

Being truthful, open, helpful can soften the blow 

They wonder whether Micron, which last year laid off about 1100 people, can survive as Idahos largest private employer after reporting six consecutive ... 

Our View: Being truthful, open, helpful can soften the blow 
They wonder whether Micron, which last year laid off about 1100 people, can survive as Idahos largest private employer after reporting six consecutive ... 

Department of Labor offering assistance to Round Table pizza employees 
By KBCI Web Staff BOISE - Employees who lost their jobs on Thursday in the abrupt closure of seven Round Table Pizza outlets in southwestern Idaho are being ... 

Round Table Pizza shuts doors in the Valley; abrupt closure shocks ... 
Sandy Junge, owner of Idaho Pizza Co. on Broadway in Boise, said her restaurant is thriving despite the economy. But there is a lot of competition in the ... 

Treasure Valley tech wages nearly double the private-sector ... 
We need to do everything possible to grow these types of jobs, one industry expert says. The high-tech industry in Southwest Idaho pays wages averaging ... 

Local tech wages nearly double the private-sector average, report says 
Of those jobs, 14800 were in manufacturing, up 600 from a year earlier. The employment numbers in 2006 preceded layoffs at Micron Technology, Idaho?s ... 

Lotterman: Is extending jobless benefits good idea? 
By Edward Lotterman - Special to the Idaho Statesman As unemployment continues to rise, the question of extending the maximum term of unemployment benefits ...

Boise Airport Ranks Number Seven

The local economy in Boise, Idaho seems to be at a stand still. In the local news, the Boise Airport was ranked number seven in the magazine “Travel+Liesure”. The edition was labeled “America’s Best Airports”. Locals hope that it will raise awareness of the airport and bring in more consumers for air travel. The magazine stated that it was rated number one for fewest delays and goes further to explain other amazing facts. If this brings in more business, then it is sure to open up more positions due to demand.

 

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