Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Farm Economy slowing but vibrant


Emmett grain harvest--Steve Ritter photo
West Losing Fewer Jobs

Boise--The Western states are holding up better than the rest of the nation according to the Western States Blue Chip Economic Forecast just out. Twenty-six states, except California, have more jobs now than they had eight years ago based on June figures according to the report.

The June figures on employment released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed 131.8 million jobs in the country, a decrease of 6.2 million from the recession start. And the June employment total is actually lower than it was at the February 2001 peak of 132.5 million.

Nationally, the gains from the 2001 economic rebound have disappeared. Most Western states recorded strong growth during the mini-boom, even after sharp job losses in the past couple of years, they're ahead of the game compared to the last business cycle, the report said.

Idaho had 628,700 nonfarm jobs in June 2009 compared to 578,900 in June 2001, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics information that the forecast cited. The Western Blue Chip Economic Forecast was produced by Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business. Panelists included John Church of Idaho Economics, Mike Ferguson of the Idaho Division of Financial Management and Kelly Matthews of Wells Fargo.

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