Idaho’s startup community generates buzz, with companies such as Cradlepoint, Bodybuilding.com and TSheets boosting sales and employment. However, a recent report from the U.S. Department of Labor suggests Idaho employment in “core high-tech industries” — those with five times the average concentration of STEM jobs in the state — still feels the sting of about 5,000 layoffs at Boise’s Micron Technology Inc. between 2006 and 2010. Tech employment is growing — including 700 new jobs at Micron since then — but employment in Idaho’s core tech industries has been outpaced by that of every other state.
Idaho was one of several states hit disproportionately by layoffs at a single large employer, Idaho Department of Labor Analyst Ethan Mansfield says. “The start-up tech culture that we see in the Boise area and a few other pockets around the state has definitely not been able to keep pace, employment-wise, with the movement of the big companies like Micron, HP and the Idaho National Lab,” Mansfield says.