Idaho economy improving

POCATELLO – Things are looking up for the Idaho economy, according to Idaho State University economics Professor Scott Benson who contributed to an economic forecast report on personal income.
Benson predicts a 3.4 percent increase in personal income and a 4.5 percent rise in state general fund revenues in fiscal year 2013, which begins July 1.
“Personal income is growing, although that growth is modest in the short run and improves only slowly,” Benson said. “But there is an upward trend and the future looks brighter than it has the last couple of years.”
Benson makes the personal income prediction in the report “Forecast of Idaho Personal Income, Fiscal Year Basis,” which has the subhead “Been Down So Long It Looks Up to Me,” prepared for the Idaho Economic Estimates Commission of the Idaho Tax Commission.
In the report Benson notes that jobs are once again being added to the Idaho economy, but employers are demonstrating caution in their hiring practices. And, he says, that it may be 2015 before Idaho sees employment levels achieved by the end of 2007 before the latest recession hit the U.S., and many jobs lost are being replaced by lower-paying jobs.
“Until construction activity picks up and jobs start being created at a higher rate the state will persist with relatively slow growth,” Benson said.