Idaho job growth #1, construction is hot

Idaho job growth #1, construction is hot
Posted at 6:14 PM, Apr 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-26 20:14:56-04

Idaho’s unemployment rate is now at 3.8% which is considered pretty healthy. Increased consumer confidence is causing a construction boom in real estate. So much so, there's a deep shortage of skilled labor.

A quick scan of the Boise skyline and you'll easily see evidence of growth. Several downtown projects are the result of new business and residents in the city of trees.

"We’re seeing both businesses and individuals a lot of people coming to this area,” said Bill Clark, president of Clark Development Corporation

Clark has seen an upswing in the economy almost across the board. But the demand for new houses and office buildings is putting a strain on construction companies.

"There’s a shortage of skilled construction labor around right now."

The construction sector has grown twelve percent over the last year in the Treasure Valley, creating demand for every sort of skilled worker.

"Framing, concrete, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, landscaping - all have labor shortages," said Clark.

That's true for McAlvain Concrete Inc. which is working on several large projects. Tory McAlvain sees a problem filling positions left by aging baby-boomers and thinks schools could help.

"It’s important that they do outreach programs and help bring in the workforce and educate the people because this is a prestigious industry," he said.

Construction currently reigns king for growth in the valley economy and McAlvain is optimistic about the future.

"You look for your future projects and make sure you're maintaining and having enough backlogs to secure the jobs and at McAlvain we've been fortunate enough to always have that backlog."

McAlvain says demand is so high right now they'll hire people without certification or degree. That said, getting a quick degree can give you the edge long-term in the business.