Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Stats show local economy chugging along

Surveyors from Primary Construction of Boise mark out the ground on Utah Avenue where the foundation for Panda Express will be dug and poured in the next week.
Maybe it's the conditioning we get from school, but I've always considered September the beginning of a new year. Summer's almost over, and in the 30-plus years I've lived in the Rocky Mountain states it's always seemed like the weather can be counted on to change the Saturday or Sunday after Labor Day.

There wasn't much at the Idaho Falls Building Department this morning, so my fallback position was to look at the numbers from our favorite sources to get a feel for the local economy. The real estate market has been cooking this year, according to Patrick Malone of High Desert Realty, whom I ran into at the City Hall annex. Following up on our conversation, I looked at the marketing statistics from the Snake River Multiple Listing Service and compiled this chart:
As you can see, sales are up significantly, as are prices and new listings.

I also found it interesting that unemployment seemed to have dropped significantly from last year. I'd be curious about any reports of underemployment -- people working at part-time rather than full-time jobs, or for less money than their training or experience would warrant in a robust economy.

Last of all, here are building statistics from the city of Idaho Falls, which show a lot of action on the new construction of single family dwellings: