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Eye On Boise

Net in-migration to Idaho drops to lowest level in a decade

Idaho in 2012 experienced its largest out-migration from the state in more than a decade, according to state driver’s license figures from the Idaho Transportation Department analyzed in recent weeks by StateImpact Idaho and by KTVB reporter Jamie Grey. According to the state figures, in 2012, 36,933 people moved to Idaho and got new driver’s licenses, while 28,424 Idahoans moved away and surrendered their Idaho licenses in other states or countries. That’s a net in-migration of just 8,509; last year’s net gain was 18,704, and the figure hasn’t dropped below 10,000 since 2002.

Grey reported that a deeper look at who’s moving in and out of the state raises questions about Idaho’s labor market. “We have an influx greater than it has been in the past of older people,” Bob Fick of the Idaho Department of Labor told KTVB, “people who are at the end of their working lives or retired. Compounding that, which is something we haven't had in the past, is this exodus of younger workers.” Fick said the change is so marked that decision-makers “probably should start considering what the ramifications are of a shift like the one we're seeing.” You can see KTVB’s full report here, and see StateImpact Idaho’s full report here. Both reports include interesting maps showing where Idahoans are moving and where new Idahoans are moving from.

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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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