As the recession slammed into urban Idaho in 2008, rural Idaho escaped without an overall loss of jobs or wages, according to the latest analysis from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. In fact, rural Idaho added more than 300 jobs in 2008, while metropolitan Boise alone lost almost 5,200 jobs that year and $269 million in wages.
“We know that the numbers got worse in 2009,” said Bob Fick of the Idaho Department of Labor, but those numbers aren’t out yet; that’s the year that the brunt of the recession hit Idaho. But he said rural Idaho likely fared better in ‘09 as well, at least compared to urban Idaho. “What happened in the ‘01 recession is the same as what’s happening now,” Fick explained. “Rural economies aren’t as volatile as urban economies. Consequently they don’t fall as much in recession, and they don’t grow as much in expansion. I think the assumption is that you’ll see the same thing (in rural Idaho) for ‘09, although it could be negative. But it won’t be as bad as the declines in urban Idaho.” You can read the new report here.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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