Idaho County reported a total $108.767 million in annual payroll for 2012, according to statistics recently released through the U.S. Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns report.
That was a 12.7 percent jump from the year prior – up $12.232 million from 2011 – and more than a three-quarter increase from a decade prior; in 2002, annual payroll was $47.438 million.
“In the same 10-year period that Idaho County’s private-sector payrolls increased 77.4 percent, the State of Idaho’s increased 40.1 percent,” according to Kathryn Tacke, regional economist for the Idaho Department of Labor’s Lewiston office. “Both of them kept ahead of inflation, which rose about 23.5 percent between 2002 and 2012. In almost every major industrial sector, Idaho County outperformed the state in terms of payroll growth. The major exceptions were real estate, rental and lending and accommodations and food service, which grew more slowly in the county than the state.”
When the recession hit, Idaho ended 2008 with a 15-year high unemployment rate, and Idaho County annual payroll totaled $94.154 million, dropping more than 10 percent to $84.363 in 2009. Most of that decrease was returned the following year, which reported a total $92.967 million, and in 2011 the county total payroll increased 3.8 percent for a total $96.535 million.
Within the past decade, four business categories have remained within the top five contributors to Idaho County’s annual payroll, according to Census statistics.
Health Care and Social Assistance total payroll has grown significantly within the past decade by nearly 139 percent. In 2002 it was ranked the third largest private sector payroll at $9.861 million, and in 2012 it was the top payroll for the county at $23.527 million.
“The major reason for the growth in health care jobs was the 37.8 percent increase in the number of Idaho County residents 65 and over from 2,713 in 2002 to 3,738 in 2012,” Tacke said.
Manufacturing provided the second largest annual payroll — $22.325 million — in 2012, compared with $14.605 million in 2002 when it comprised the largest portion of the total.
“It’s encouraging to see the county’s manufacturing sector recovering its strength after the recession caused massive job loss, especially in the wood products sector,” Tacke said. “The county has recovered most of the jobs it lost and is growing new manufacturing jobs at places like Advanced Welding & Steel and Gem Chain Bar.”
Retail Trade reported the second largest payroll in the county in 2002 at $10.222 million, and in 2012 it placed third at 11.557 million.
“The retail sector still is hurting from the decreased incomes and anxiety about the future caused by the severity of the recession,” Tacke said. “In addition, online purchases are hurting brick and mortar stores, and the aging of the population means there are fewer new households being formed and more households that spend the bulk of their dollars on travel, help around the house, and health care, rather than on products.”
Construction has remained within the top five largest categories in annual payroll within Idaho County.
The industry grew from $5.495 million in 2002 to $9.061 million in 2008, after which it dropped to $7.338 million in 2009. In 2010 and 2011, payroll amounts increased, respectively, to $8.500 million and $8.885 million, dropping to $8.239 in 2012.
“The construction sector in Idaho County is showing more buoyancy than the construction sectors in the state of Idaho or other counties in North Central Idaho,” Tacke said. “When adjusted for inflation, their 2012 levels trailed their 2002 levels, much less their 2008 levels.”
Through to 2011 with a total $5.808 million, transportation and warehousing stayed among the county’s top five payrolls; a decade ago in 2002, it reported a total $3.818 million. In 2012, it was bumped from the list by the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services category, which reported total annual payroll of $9.826 million, having grown from $1.080 million in 2002.
“The biggest source of growth in the professional, scientific and technical industries,” Tacke said, “were engineering and surveying firms, professional services related to agriculture, and computer-related services.”
Other industry reports
Idaho County’s traditional industries – Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting – reported a total annual payroll of $4.042 million in 2012, which is up $1.330 million (49 percent) from the year prior, and a 104 percent increase from the $1.978 million total payroll reported in 2002.
Finance and Insurance reported a $5.410 million annual payroll in 2012, up 16 percent from $4.657 million total the year prior. In 2002, this category reported a total $2.429 million payroll.
Payroll in 2012 for Real Estate and Rental and Leasing totaled $361,000, down by $48,000 from the year prior, but a 38 percent increase from $262,000 reported in 2002.