Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Idaho


Fast Facts: Landlocked in the Pacific Northwest, Idaho is the “Gem State.” The state’s largest city and capital is Boise.

Idaho Careers: 2008 U.S. Census data estimated Idaho’s population at approximately 1.5 million. Forbes recently ranked Idaho as the 7th “Best State for Business” and CNBC placed it 17th in a 2009 “Quality of Life” survey.

Idaho Career Education: Idaho ranked 47th in a 2009 K-12 “Academic Achievement” study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Idaho Economy: The “Idaho Potato” is famous; in fact, many configurations of the name are trademarked by the Idaho Potato Commission. Two thirds of the country’s processed potatoes are grown in Idaho.

For details and sources, click the “Career Information” tab below.



Idaho Fast facts:

Location, Location, Location...:  Idaho is located in the pacific northwest region of the United States.

Cities:  The state’s largest city and capital is Boise.

Behind the Name:  Idaho’s nickname is the “Gem State” because nearly every known gem has been found in the state.

A Closer Look:  Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890 as the 43rd state. Residents are called “Idahoans.” (2) [Try to say that five times in a hurry]

Did You Know?  Idaho is landlocked and is considered an “outdoorsy” community, as it is a mostly mountainous state larger than the whole of New England. Central Idaho is home to one of North America’s oldest ski resorts, Sun Valley.

Idaho Careers and Employment:

Population:  1,523,816 (17.8% increase since 2000) – 49.1% Female, 50.3% Male (2008 U.S. Census Bureau).

Business Environment:  Ranked 7th in Forbes Magazine’s “Best States for Business,” 2008.

Top Industries:  In terms of paid employees, according to a 2008 U.S. Census Bureau study: (1) retail trade; (2) manufacturing; (3) health care and social assistance; (4) accommodation and food services; and (5) construction.

Taxes:  Income Tax, 1.6% to 7.8% and Sales Tax, 6% (Federation of Tax Administrators).

Cost of Living:  93.1 in relation to the “National Average” of 100 (Federal Cost of Living Index).

Quality of Life:  Ranked 17th of 50 states by CNBC, 2009.

Weather:  Average Temperature (In °F) – Jan: 23.60; Apr: 43.49; July: 66.24; Oct: 45.51 (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

K-12:  Ranked 47th of 50 states in “Academic Achievement” by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2009. 

Idaho Economics:

In General:  Most of the jobs in Idaho are in the service industry (34%), with other notable employment sectors including government and military services (15%), manufacturing (12%) and farming (6%).

Service Industry:  The wholesale (groceries, petroleum, wood products) and retail (automobile dealerships, food stores, restaurants) trade industries lead the service sector. Ranking second is the finance, insurance and real estate industry.

Agriculture:  In terms of revenue generated, Idaho’s top five agricultural products are dairy products, cattle and calves, potatoes, wheat and hay.

Manufacturing:  Electrical equipment (primarily computer -related) is Idaho’s top manufactured product. Ranking second is the food-processing category (potato-processing plants, beet-sugar refineries, canning and freezing companies, dairies, meat, poultry, wheat processing plants).

Mining:  The mining sector of Idaho’s economy is supported by silver, phosphate rock (for fertilizer) and gold.

Did You Know?  The reputation of the Idaho potato precedes it worldwide, and two thirds of all the processed potatoes produced in the United States are grown in Idaho.

Idaho Education: 

Find Colleges and Universities in Idaho, here.


Sources:  In addition to specific citations noted in this “Career Information” section, supplementary source materials include:  the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service;;;; and


General Information
1,291,998 Population (as of 2000)2.2 Average Persons Per Household (as of 2000)
1,428,787 Population (current)$99,134 Average House Value (as of 2000)
51,004.2 Square Miles of Land$33,448 Average House Income (as of 2000)
154.9 Square Miles of Water

Business Information
39,658 Number of Businesses (as of 2003)$2,815,148,000 Total First Quarter Payroll (as of 2003)
432,756 Number of Employees (as of 2003)$11,995,968,000 Total Annual Payroll (as of 2003)

Gender (as of 2000)
Ethnicity (as of 2000)
Median Ages (as of 2000)