StateImpact Idaho’s current series on low-wage work in Idaho, entitled “Bottom Rung,” has an eye-opening look today on how Idaho’s labor picture is changing, and it’s not an encouraging one. “The structural problem is that the nature of the economy is changing,” retired University of Idaho economist Stephen Cooke told StateImpact. “It looked as if Idaho was about to make a very nice transition to a high-skilled manufacturing sector, and then it fell apart.”
“Cooke says this is the important story, and it’s one that has unfolded gradually, obscured by the noise of Idaho’s rapid growth and deep recession,” StateImpact reports. “In the 1990s, Idaho looked poised to stake its claim to a sizable number of skilled manufacturing jobs. That stalled. Over 10 years, computer and electronic manufacturing employment in Idaho fell by 40 percent.” You can read StateImpact’s full report here.