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'Name a position and we're short:' Local trade workers in high demand

Boise is the fastest growing job market in the country, according to a recent data analysis from Axios. However, job postings does not mean the job is filled.

BOISE, Idaho — As the Treasure Valley continues to grow, so do its opportunities.

A recent Axios data analysis reports Boise is the fastest growing job market in the United States. Boise job postings increased 94.8% in 2021 compared to the previous year.

However, the demand for workers is not met with the necessary supply of candidates, according to Same Day Electric Owner Jason Anderson. His Boise-based company only sees 10%-20% of applicants meeting the minimum qualifications.

"It's very difficult to find good quality candidates," Anderson said. "It's a huge strain from a hiring process. It never ends. It never stops."

Right now, the company has more work than they can handle, and Anderson is actively looking to hire 6 electricians. He would hire 20 electricians today if the right candidates were available; however, he is realistically hoping to fill 5 spots by the end of 2022.

Anderson's experience at Same Day Electric is not uncommon, according to the Building Contractors Association of Southwestern Idaho.

"Name a position and we're short," BCASWI Executive Officer Bill Rauer said.

This industry-wide worker shortage has existed since the 2008 recession, according to Rauer. As many people lost their jobs in the construction trades, a lot of them decided not to return after the economy bounced back.

The lack of qualified, skilled, and experienced candidates does not even stop there.

"We're also seeing an issue with people retiring out of those trades and we're not seeing those position being backfilled," Rauer said.

The dry pipeline now has business owners like Anderson not only competing with competition for work and bids, but for the labor itself. This increased competition for a shrinking number of candidates has led Same Day Electric to raise wages, increase benefits, and add paid time off, according to Anderson.

"Couple hundred electrical contractors here in Boise, Idaho. I'd say 95% - if not all of them - are actively hiring right now," Anderson said. "We expect the funnel is gonna tighten before it opens up."

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