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Top 5 Industries in Idaho: Which Parts of the Economy Are Strongest?

By    |   Saturday, 04 Apr 2015 06:47 PM

Agriculture is strong in Idaho, with the state supplying nearly 30 percent of all potatoes on the U.S. market, but other industries are growing rapidly, too. For instance, their healthcare industry is one of the best in the nation, their food processing companies are diverse and powerful, and the state is home to one of the largest producers of computer memory in the world. Read on to learn more about those and the other top industries in Idaho.

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1. Manufacturing

While Idaho certainly manufactures goods such as lumber, chemicals and fabricated metals, the top manufacturing product is electrical equipment, specifically computers and computer components. Technology has played a large role in Idaho’s economy since the 1970s, and with Micron Technology based in Boise, it’s no surprise that computers are top dog in this industry.

2. Health Care

Even though the recession did hurt some industries in Idaho, health care was one of the few that seemed immune. In fact, this industry has seen an increase in revenue by 46 percent over the past 10 years, with its projected growth to exceed an additional 36 percent in the coming years. This ranks Idaho as second in the nation for growth in this sector. According to Idaho’s Department of Labor, the hottest jobs for healthcare industries included nursing, physical therapy and dental hygiene.

3. Tourism

According to the U.S. Travel Association, Idaho’s tourism industry brings in $3.4 billion each year. It also employs more than 26,000 people, mostly through the food and beverage, and hospitality industries. The state also generates nearly $500 million in tax revenue each year. Tourist attractions range from art and music festivals, such as the Gene Harris Jazz Festival – held each spring in Boise – to outdoor recreation. Idaho offers everything from breathtaking scenic views to whitewater rafting and snow skiing.

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4. Agriculture

While Idaho is the top producer of potatoes in the U.S., this state actually has quite a diverse range of agricultural products. In fact, Idaho is one of the top producers of cattle, dairy products, trout, lamb, wool, crops, seeds and other livestock. In fact, over 185 different commodities are either grown or produced in the Gem State. And while potatoes might be a major source of income, cattle are their most valuable farm products.

5. Food and Beverage Processing

Agriculture, combined with food and beverage processing, is the backbone of the state’s economy. The food and beverage processing is the second largest sector of this state’s manufacturing industry, helping Idaho’s diverse crops and products meet their full earning potential. Everything from potato-processing plants to canning and freezing companies and sugar refineries can be found throughout the state.

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Agriculture is strong in Idaho, with the state supplying nearly 30 percent of all potatoes on the U.S. market, but other industries are growing rapidly, too. For instance, their healthcare industry is one of the best in the nation.
industries, idaho, economy
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2015-47-04
Saturday, 04 Apr 2015 06:47 PM
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