Idaho's Economy: How is the Recovery Going?
Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Mike Ferguson, Director, Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy

The state of Idaho has been slowly recovering from the economic recession since June 2009, but how exactly is the state doing compared to the rest of the nation? State revenues are climbing again, unemployment has dropped to about 6.5 percent statewide, the housing market is bouncing back, and the Boise metro area was recently ranked in the top 5 of all major metro areas for its economic recovery by the Brookings Institution.

But there are key areas where Idaho -- and its people -- are slipping financially compared to other states, according to Mike Ferguson, Idaho's former chief economist and the director of the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy. Ferguson will talk to City Club about the state of Idaho's economy and take questions from the audience.

Taking a long view, Ferguson says there are some areas of concern, including wage growth, per capita personal income and per-student spending on education. State budget cuts, tax swaps and tax breaks have caused Idaho to lose important revenues streams for public education, higher education and health care, Ferguson says.

Ferguson served as chief economist in the state Division of Financial Management for 25 years, working in both Democratic and Republican administrations. Prior to that time, he worked as an economist at the Idaho Public Utilities Commission and as an econometrician at a large regional bank. Ferguson has a bachelor's degree in economics from Boise State University, and he completed graduate work at the University of Oregon in urban/regional economics, resource economics and public finance. 

Chair: Mikel Ward and Matt Cryer
Moderator: Dick Gardner
Underwriters: Northwest Nazarene University