Economy

New York Times screengrab

An interesting take on state-to-state migration from The New York Times illustrates what many Idahoans already knew: a lot of California natives now live in Idaho.

The Times created a data visualization of migration to each state going back to 1900. It's no surprise that at the turn of the 20th century, most people moving to Idaho were immigrants from outside of the U.S., the northeast and the midwest.

Overall, climate change is predicted to hurt agriculture around the world. It could even threaten corn production in the Corn Belt.

But in North Dakota conditions are now better for raising corn, and that's a big benefit for farmers.

When I was growing up in Wolford, N.D., up near the Canadian border, wheat was king. It had been the dominant crop since the prairie was first plowed in the late 1800s. So it was kind of strange to go back this summer and find Larry Slaubaugh, a local farmer, filling his 18-wheeler with corn from a huge steel grain bin.

4435Russet / Flickr Creative Commons

The J.R. Simplot Company has delayed the closure of two potato processing plants in Idaho.

Simplot spokesman David Cuoio told the Capital Press that layoffs at the Aberdeen plant are now expected to happen in September, and the Nampa plant will likely close Oct. 31.

The company initially planned to close both facilities this spring, but decided to keep them open longer after getting more customer orders than expected.

Tax Credits / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho residents have among the lowest personal incomes in the nation but spend a higher percentage of their money on basic essentials compared to most others, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Idaho's per-capita consumer spending was $30,190 — just a few dollars higher than the per-capita spending in Utah and Hawaii. Nevada, Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi all came in lower.

Northwest cattle ranchers are struggling to get their herds out of the way of raging wildfires. Some herds have been lost, others badly injured.

wheat, grain, agriculture, montana
Daimon Eklund / Flickr Creative Commons

The Northwest wheat harvest is in full swing, but the export of grain has all but stopped at the Port of Vancouver, Wash. The shipments have been blocked because Washington state inspectors have stopped checking grain for export at the port because they don't want to cross a picket line in a labor dispute.

Farmers are calling for those inspections to resume after harvesting about 40 percent of Washington's wheat. Washington Wheat Growers Association President Nicole Berg farms 21,000 acres near the Tri-Cities.

delta, atlanta, airport
Courtesy: Delta Airlines

The head of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce says lining up daily, non-stop flights to a major East Coast hub is now the local business community's top priority.

The airport has again applied for a federal grant that, if successful, would be used to help cover costs for an airline if the route proves to be initially unprofitable. The city applied for a similar grant last year but was unsuccessful.

Officials with the Elks Rehab System in Boise have sent letters to local mayors announcing layoffs associated with St. Luke’s takeover of Elks facilities. Elks officials say significant financial and operational challenges are forcing it to hand over its operations to the Idaho healthcare giant. 

This summer's hot, dry weather has been a mixed blessing for Northwest farmers.

A breakdown in a U.S. State Department computer system that processes foreign worker visas has sowed major worries at some Northwest orchards.

boise.coop

The Boise Co-op announced Monday that it would open a second store in the Village at Meridian.

Co-op marketing director Shannon McGuire says two surveys solidified managers goals of opening a second store.

“We asked our shoppers ‘what should we do, where should we go if we considered expansion?’” McGuire says. “And out of that came ‘yes, please do expand and go West.’”

McGuire says survey respondents picked Meridian as their top choice for a second store. The second-most requested store location was Nampa, and McGuire says that could someday become a reality.

whiskey, alcohol, drink
Therese Tjernstrom / Flickr Creative Commons

Some Idaho business owners say the state's laws limiting the number of liquor licenses in each city stunt local economic growth.

The Idaho Statesman reports that Idaho's liquor regulation has resulted in a scarcity of liquor licenses, which in turn has caused business owners to resell licenses at exorbitant costs.

Licenses may be purchased from the state for $750 and in just two years, resold for more than $300,000.

According to Idaho law, each municipality is allotted one liquor license for every 1,500 residents.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee tried to woo electric carmaker Tesla Motors to build a massive battery factory in the Evergreen state. But according to at least one report, the company may have already broken ground near Reno, Nevada.

The intensifying competition between Alaska Airlines and rival Delta Air Lines in the Western skies does not seem to be hurting the bottom line of either company.

yogurt, chobani
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A fungus found in Chobani yogurt produced at its Twin Falls facility last year that led to a voluntary recall was more virulent than first thought.

In August and September 2013 more than 200 people were made sick by the Greek yogurt after a strain of fungus called Mucor circinelloides was detected in the product.

International Market, Boise, food
Photo Courtesy International Market

The Boise International Market is set to open its doors sometime in August. It will start out with 17 micro-businesses selling products from around the world. Developers hope to add more vendors soon after it opens.

Ken Lund / Flickr Creative Commons

New federal population figures out Thursday show the nation’s youngest county is in the midst of eastern Idaho's potato country. Madison County, Idaho.

To give you a comparison, the median age of the United States is almost 38. The median age of Madison County is 23-years-old. That’s the lowest in the country. And there’s one big reason.

Madison County is home to Brigham Young University-Idaho.

Ken Edmunds, Butch Otter
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Acknowledging Idaho's economic development "sins of the past" Tuesday, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter unveiled a revamped business incentive program that was once touted as a job creator, but Otter now wants it viewed as a way to train workers for high-skill jobs. 

Farmers in Oregon, Idaho and Washington are expected to harvest less wheat this summer. The weather forecast has a lot to do with it.

OSJOBFAIR / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho’s jobless rate has dipped below 5 percent for the first time in almost six years. 

The Idaho Labor Department reports May’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 4.9 percent, that's as total employment grew by 1,000 jobs from April to May.

In May of 2013, nearly 50,000 Idahoans didn’t have jobs. This May, about 38,000 people were out of work.

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