How the Retiree Population Boom is Affecting Our Economy
Paylocity, a 2.5-year-old tech startup, is moving its 200 employees to a new building with plans to add 300 more, according to the New York Times.
A 3,000-home housing development is about a decade ahead of its 20-year buildout timeline, New York Times also reported.
Other national headlines, including some in Forbes and the Census Bureau, have proclaimed Idaho to be the nation's fastest growing state, driven by exorbitant population growth in Boise and the Treasure Valley.
These snapshots illustrate an undeniable trend: Seniors are driving Idaho's population growth, changing the undercurrent of the state's economy and pushing the demand for healthcare workers past its current capacity. Population projections show 35 percent of Idaho residents will be seniors by 2025, with seniors responsible for almost 60 percent of the state's population growth between 2015 and 2025.
Meanwhile, the number of health care field graduates in the Treasure Valley remained flat from 2010 to 2016, while that industry saw a net increase of 10,000 jobs.
Several organizations are working to bridge that gap. The Idaho Health Care Association Foundation recently received a $500,000 grant to recruit 500 certified nursing assistants and provide a wage while they are still in their 120-hour training program, according to Boise State Pubic Radio.
Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center is starting a new residency program to try to address the state's shortage of physicians, especially in rural areas, as physicians are more likely to practice in the state where they were residents, according to Boise State Public Radio. Over three years, the program is expected to grow from 10 to 30 residents, bolstering the state's current 141 positions across nine programs, the article states.
The biggest impact, though, could come from the College of Western Idaho's proposal for a 105,000-square-foot, $49 million health science building on its main campus in Nampa, according to the Idaho Press. College leaders are seeking a 10-year, $39 million property tax levy in November to fund the construction project, which would start in 2019 or 2020.
The state has agreed to chip in $10 million, and the college foundation hopes to raise $3 million to $5 million. Any foundation funds raised by Sept. 7 would be put toward the levy and the amount requested on the ballot would be reduced accordingly.
The median home assessment in Ada County is $251,000, which would pay $21.13 a year more in taxes if the levy passes. Similarly, the median home assessment in Canyon County is $151,300, which would see a $12.74 annual increase, according to CWI Yes, a non-profit organization.
So far, the levy has received strong support, especially from the health care industry.
"Idaho is the fastest growing state in the U.S. and the Treasure Valley is the fastest growing part of Idaho," said Dr. Ted Epperly, CEO of Family Medical Residency of Idaho. "It is thus imperative that we invest now in a new Health Science Building and programs at CWI to centralize technology and faculty needed to speed a new generation of trained providers to fill this growing demand for these critical jobs for our communities."