Economics

Investment Climate in Idaho

Idaho’s tech industry continues to be a strong driver for startup activity and employment growth in the state.

Robert Spendlove and Joseph Mayans Jul 27, 2018

Idaho is emerging as a top state for business and economic growth. Over the past year, the state has consistently ranked among the best labor markets for strong employment growth and low unemployment. The robust labor market, relatively low cost of living, and access to outdoor recreation, has attracted economic migrants from around the country and has turned Idaho into the fastest growing state in the nation. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, from 2016 to 2017, Idaho’s population grew by 2.2 percent to 1,716,943, with the majority of growth coming from in-migration. Both the Coeur d’Alene and Boise metropolitan areas ranked among the top 10 fastest growing in the nation by percentage increase, while Meridian is the 10th fastest growing large city in the US.

A major contributor to Idaho’s impressive growth has been the expansion of its tech sector. According to the Computer Technology Industry Association, Idaho had the 5th fastest growing tech workforce in the nation in 2017, with the number of tech workers growing from 50,476 to 51,885. In addition to strong employment growth, the tech sector’s economic impact continues to expand and now comprises 9.4 percent of the state’s economy, up from 7.1 percent in 2015.

As the state’s tech sector has continued to improve, so has the environment for attracting venture capital. While still not seen as a major hub for venture capital investment, Idaho has experienced an increase in both the number of venture capital deals and amount of funding since the end of the Great Recession. The vast majority of this funding has been invested into internet companies. As the tech sector in Idaho continues to grow, this trend is likely to continue.

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