As much as technology affects the minutes of our days—checking email, keeping in touch with friends, and even reading articles like this—it has massive implications in the world of industry and business. 

Virtually every industry benefits from technology: for instance, agriculture becomes more efficient, education becomes more interactive, and healthcare becomes more effective. While technology connects us with people around the world, automates mundane tasks, and offers access to more information than ever before, it also creates jobs, increases earning power, and fuels our economy.

Over the past 40 years, Idaho has built a strong business culture of technology and innovation. Micron Technology, the only United States-based memory chip maker was founded in Idaho in the 1970s. Additionally, Idaho is the center of Hewlett-Packard’s Imaging and Print Group, known for introducing the HP LaserJet printer. Technology is one of Idaho’s largest and fastest-growing industries. New high-tech businesses produce a plethora of competitive products, ranging from software to semiconductors to nanomaterials. Idaho is home to approximately 49,322 technology and innovation jobs, and annual income in the sector averages $88,547. The industry is expected to grow 13.7 percent over the next ten years, bringing more technology jobs and expertise to the area.

The Idaho Technology Council drives increased technological innovation within the state, and supports the relocation of technology companies to Idaho. It partners with organizations such as Idaho TechConnect and Don’t Fail Idaho to promote its goals. Don’t Fail Idaho is a public awareness campaign that focuses on improving education in Idaho in order to build a skilled workforce that can meet the demands of growing companies, including technology companies. Similarly, Idaho TechConnect evolved out of the Governor’s Science and Technology Advisory Council (STAC) that works with industries and universities in Idaho. Idaho TechConnect collaborated with the Idaho Technology Council to develop a strategic plan focused on advancing Science and Technology in the state.

Idaho’s technology sector will continue to grow and benefit residents and businesses. As Idaho’s technology expertise increases, many industries within the state will flourish as well, creating a net positive impact for the economy.

Economic Snapshots:

Consumer Confidence. The U.S. Consumer Confidence Index® increased 9.8 points to 102.9 in January.  The Present Situation Index increased 12.7 points to 112.6, while the Expectations Index increased 7.9 points to 96.4.

Inflation.  The U.S. Consumer Price Index decreased 0.6% from November to December.  The Index saw a year-over-year increase of 0.8%, which is below the Federal Reserve’s target annual inflation pace of 2–3%.

Housing Market. In December, the CoreLogic® Home Price Index (HPI) for Idaho, which measures home price appreciation, experienced a year-over-year increase of 1.3%.  Nationally, the HPI increased 5.0% during the same period.

Job Report. Idaho’s unemployment rate decreased 0.2 percentage points to 3.7% in December, while the national unemployment rate also decreased 0.2 percentage points to 5.6% in December.