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Idaho Manufacturing Employment Thrives As Food Industry Gains Momentum


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

EVANSTON, Ill, February 9th, 2017/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- Idaho manufacturing employment inched up for a fifth straight year, according to the 2017 Idaho Manufacturers Directory®, an industrial database and directory published by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. According to MNI’s database of manufacturers, Idaho added 629 jobs between November 2015 and November 2016, a 1% gain.

Idaho’s 2,155 manufacturers employ 79,419 in the state, reports MNI. Manufacturing employment in Idaho has grown steadily since November of 2011, adding 6,731 jobs or 9.3% over the five-year span.

Idaho ranks among the most business-friendly states in the nation, and its food processing sector continues to gain momentum,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “However, as with many states across the nation, finding skilled workers can be a challenge, and a strong dollar is putting a damper on exports.”

Gains in Idaho’s manufacturing sector were led by the food processing sector, which added jobs at a 5.7% rate, and currently ranks as the state’s second-largest industry by factory employment with 15,823 jobs. First-ranked industrial machinery also added jobs, up 1.8% over the year to 16,475.

Idaho’s growing food sector saw some new additions over the year, with the opening of Hearthside Food’s nutrition bar plant in Boise, the establishment of Clif Bar’s new factory in Twin Falls, as well as the opening of JR Simplot’s potato processing plant in Boise.

Healthy gains were recorded across multiple other industries, reports MNI, and included textiles/apparel, up 7.6%; transportation equipment, up 3.4%; fabricated metals, up 1.6%; and paper products, up 1%.

These increases, however, were offset by losses that included stone/clay/glass, down 6.2%; primary metals, down 5.6%; rubber/plastics, down 5.1%; and chemicals, down 4.9%.

MNI reports Idaho’s job gains were concentrated in the south of the state, with employment up 1% in Southwest Idaho to 45,096 jobs, and up 1.6% in Southeast Idaho to 17,001 workers. Jobs declined a half percent in Northern Idaho, which is now home to 17,322 workers.

City data collected by MNI shows Boise remains the state’s top city by industrial employment, with 22,686 jobs, down 1% over the past year. Employment in second-ranked Nampa grew by 3.3% to 6,041 jobs, and increased 3% in Idaho Falls to 4,913. Fourth-ranked Lewiston accounts for 4,729 industrial jobs, up 1% over the past twelve months, while fifth-ranked Twin Falls accounts for 3,770, also up 1%.

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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