Finally, solid evidence that Idaho's economic recovery has begun

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By Jay Michaels

TWIN FALLS, ID (KMVT) Slowly but surely, America continues to climb out of the Great Recession. But while that recovery won't happen as quickly as snapping your fingers, things are beginning to look a little better here in Southern Idaho.

For the last two months, the unemployment rate has been dropping. What's different about that? The jobless rate had been climbing for the last four years.

Roger Madsen, Director of the Idaho Department of Labor credits, "New hires, personal income growth, gross domestic product, gross state product, all have seen modest improvements, so I see some hope. Magic Valley's looking better than most areas of the state, no doubt."

Madsen says some places in Idaho have been hit harder than most states. But he says Magic Valley's diversified economy - from agriculture to retail and manufacturing - is now slowly gaining strength again after three very rough years.

Madsen says, "Mini-Cassia has held up quite well compared to some areas of the state. 6 or 7 years ago it was struggling, after the Simplot closure. But Mini-Cassia's done pretty well, Jerome's doing quite well."

Madsen says construction on the new St. Luke's hospital, Canyon Ridge High School, and the Mormon Temple in Twin Falls all helped Magic Valley's economy to keep going despite the great recession.
And he says with more people going back to work, there's finally some hopeful news in Southern Idaho's economy.

He says, "We expect the unemployment rate to continue dropping modestly. We expect hiring to pick up, civilian labor will increase, population will grow. And we think manufacturing's strong here, durable goods and non–durable goods."

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