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Boise ranks 87th of top 100 markets in private sector job growth

Boise ranks 87th of top 100 markets in private sector job growth

Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
August 9, 2010

The Boise market found itself ranked 87th among the top 100 markets in the United States in private sector job creation according to a study released by Portfolio.com last month.  The area fared worse than some cities in the region, like Ogden, Utah, but much better than some larger cities in the west, like Portland, Ore., Seattle, Wash. and Denver, Colo.

The rankings were based on the total number of jobs gained or lost between February 2009 and February 2010 compared with the total number of jobs in each market.  Cities with fewer jobs but with high amounts of job losses were likely to receive a lower ranking, while larger cities with more moderate job losses in the past 12 months were likely to receive a higher ranking.  No city of the 100 on the list actually gained jobs in the last year; Augusta, Ga., the top city this year, shed only 600 jobs, or .36 percent of its total workforce.

Boise found itself right in the middle of the pack of the study based on raw data, but performed much worse when looking at the total percentage of jobs lost.  The Treasure Valley lost 9,800 jobs during the 12 months measured, or a total drop in jobs of 4.63 percent, which earns the area 87th place in the adjusted data.  The good news for the area, however, is that the Boise market has gained about 17,000 jobs in the past decade.  In February of 2000, the publication found that Boise and surrounding cities had about 184,000 private sector jobs, compared with 201,000 of February 2010.  The number is down, however, from the area's high point five years ago, which showed Boise having 210,000 private sector jobs.

Some other cities in the west performed much worse than the Treasure Valley.  Salt Lake City, Utah, for example, shed 25,100 jobs in the past year, securing itself 67th place on the survey based on raw data and 91st place in terms of adjusted figures.  The Salt Lake Valley, after the losses, has a total of 495,100 private sector jobs.  The area lost nearly 5 percent of its total private sector workforce in the past year.

Las Vegas is near the bottom of the list in private sector job growth.  That city lost 6.03 percent of its total private sector jobs between 2009 and 2010, accounting for more than 45,000 jobs.  Those numbers earned the region 85th place based on raw data and 98th place when looking at the percentage of job losses.

One town close to Idaho fared much better on the survey than the Boise area.  Ogden, Utah, which lost only 3,000 in the past year, found itself in 4th place according to raw data and in 16th place when considering losses as a percentage of total workforce.  The area accounted for more than 145,000 jobs prior to February 2009.

Other major cities in the region, like Seattle, Wash., Portland, Ore., San Diego, Calif., and Denver, Colo., all lost most aggregate jobs than Boise did in the past year, but because they have larger workforces in total, some of their percentages of loss were lower than the Treasure Valley’s.

See the full results of the study here.

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