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Idaho Manufacturers Add Jobs For A Sixth Straight Year

Contact: Jennifer Ratcliff
Manufacturers' News, Inc.
(847) 864-9440 ext. 241
jratcliff [at]

EVANSTON, Ill, February 22nd, 2018/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- Idaho added industrial jobs for a sixth straight year, and now accounts for more manufacturing jobs than it had prior to the recession, reports MNI (Manufacturers' News, Inc.) Evanston, IL. According to MNI’s database of manufacturers, Idaho added 2,462 jobs between December 2016 and December 2017, a 3.1% increase.

Idaho’s 2,102 manufacturers currently employ 80,832 workers, reports MNI. Manufacturing employment in Idaho has grown at a steady clip over the past six years, adding a total of 8,144 jobs or 11% since December of 2011. The state’s manufacturing workforce has now surpassed pre-recession levels.

Idaho maintains one of the most business-friendly environments in the nation, and its food processing sector has gained remarkable momentum over the past several years,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “However, the state suffers a persistent skills gap and global competition continues to be a challenge.”

As in previous years, gains in Idaho’s manufacturing sector were led by the food processing sector, which added jobs at a 5.3% rate, helped by the opening of CS Beef Packers in Kuna. Food processing has overtaken industrial machinery as the state’s top sector for factory employment, currently accounting for 16,674 jobs.

The future continues to look bright for the industry, with the new CS Beef Packers site expected to employ 700, and Chobani moving forward with an expansion of its yogurt plant in Twin Falls. In addition, the recently-established Clif Bar and Hearthside Foods plants continue to add workers, while McCain Foods announced an expansion of its Burley frozen potato-processing facility.

Other additions to the state included the establishment of a Vista Outdoors rimfire plant in Lewiston, as well as the expansions of SmaK Plastics in Coeur d’Alene, and Jayco, Inc.’s travel trailer manufacturing plant in Twin Falls.

Employment in second-ranked industrial machinery inched up a half percent to 16,283 jobs, while jobs held steady in third-ranked lumber/wood at 8,875 workers.

Additional sectors adding jobs included chemicals, up 7%; paper products, up 2.4%; transportation equipment, up 2%; and fabricated metals, up 1%.

These increases, however, were offset by losses in textiles/apparel, down 7%; and electronics, down 1%.

Industrial locations announcing closures included Tri Pro Forest Products, which shuttered its lumber mill in Orofin. In addition, Snake River Plains Potatoes’ packing facility was destroyed by a fire in December 2016, costing 60 jobs.

MNI reports Idaho’s job gains were concentrated in the south of the state, with employment up 4.2% in Southwest Idaho to 46,482 jobs, and up 4.9% in Southeast Idaho to 17,836 workers. Jobs declined 1.4% in Northern Idaho to 16,514 workers.

City data collected by MNI shows Boise remains the state’s top city by industrial employment, with 22,867 jobs, up 1.8% over the past year. Employment in second-ranked Nampa grew by 1% to 6,091 jobs, and increased 3.8% in Idaho Falls to 5,100. Fourth-ranked Lewiston accounts for 4,576 industrial jobs, with no significant change over the year, while employment in fifth-ranked Twin Falls held steady at 3,759.

Established in 1912, MNI is the nation’s oldest and largest compiler of industrial information, offering tailored solutions to help customers connect with 430,000 manufacturers and suppliers. MNI’s industrial marketplace IndustryNet: is a one-stop resource that connects buyers with suppliers of 10,000 + products and services, and allows users to obtain competitive quotes, create and view company profiles, post company news releases, photos, videos, job openings, and more. MNI’s subscription service EZ Select: provides access to MNI’s live interactive database of manufacturers. For more information, contact MNI at 847-864-7000 or visit
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