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Eye On Boise

A gloomier forecast than three months ago, but growth still predicted in Idaho

Idaho's October economic forecast is out, and it's a gloomier outlook than the state's last forecast in July. That's mainly because national forecasts have changed, raising the likelihood that the national economy would slip into a recession from 25 percent in July to 40 percent in October. “The outlook for Idaho's economy has also darkened somewhat,” wrote Idaho's chief economist, Derek Santos, in the new forecast. “Instead of shifting into higher gear in the first half of 2011, job growth slipped into neutral. As a result, there were fewer jobs in the second quarter of 2011 than in the fourth quarter of 2010.”

That's depressed job-growth forecasts going several years out, Santos noted, though growth still is predicted. You can read the full forecast here, which predicts computer and electronics employment will be relatively stable; logging and wood products employment will rise 6.5 percent this year, decline slightly next year, then grow more the following two years; construction jobs are predicted to drop through 2012, then begin growing very slowly the following two years; durable good manufacturing jobs are expected to recover in 2011 what they lost in 2010; and service jobs are expected to grow.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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