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Valley view of Boise, Idaho

Boise, Idaho: Nation's 6th "Best Performing City"

boise idaho market research May 05, 2021

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"The 2021 version of the index emphasizes jobs, wages, and hightech growth while incorporating new measures of housing affordability and household broadband access."

In this post, we give an economic summary for the Boise metro based on the latest info from the Milken Institute's "Best-Performing Cities" index. You can view other top placing cities by scrolling to the bottom of this post or by reading the full report, here.

Boise, Idaho Ranks 6th!

Economic Indicators

  • Job Growth: Ranked 3rd. +22.1% (2014-19)
  • Job Growth: Ranked 2nd. +3.7% (2018-19)
  • Wage Growth: Ranked 8th. +40.8% (2014-19)
  • Wage Growth: Ranked 26th. +6.9% (2018-19)
  • Short-Term Job Growth: Ranked 5th. -0.14% (10/2019-10/2020)
  • High-Tech GDP Growth: Ranked 56th. +38.1% (2014-19)
  • High-Tech GDP Growth: Ranked 157th. +2.3% (2018-19)
  • High-Tech GDP Concentration: Ranked 44nd. LQ: 1.08 (2019)
  • Number of High-Tech Industries: Ranked 110th. 3 (2019)
  • Households with Broadband Access: Ranked 25th. 91.4% (2019)
  • Households with affordable housing costs: Ranked 52nd. 72.7% (2014-18)
  • Households with affordable housing costs: Ranked 70th. 73.4% (2019)


  • The entire Boise metro is very affordable, has a great quality of life, short commutes, and plenty of natural outdoor amenities.


  • Less high salary jobs and a strong reliance on service-based sectors (when compared to other diverse economies).
  • House prices are rising which will eventually hurt affordability.

Boise, Idaho, ranked 7th in 2020 and moved up to 6th in this year's report. The metro which includes cities like, Boise, Meridian, and Nampa, has shown consistency in both job and wage growth.

Treasure Valley is limited, however, due to its lack of high-tech GDP growth and "few specializations in high-tech industries (110th)". So what forms the backbone of Boise's economy? Primarily, its health care, food/beverage, and high-tech manufacturing and services.

Top 10 Private Sector Employers in Boise

  1. St Lukes (6,000-6,999 employees)
  2. Micron (5,000-5,999 employees)
  3. Saint Alphonsus Health System (5,000-5,999 employees)
  4. Albertsons (3,000-3,999 employees)
  5. Walmart (3,000-3,999 employees)
  6. Simplot (2,000-2,999 employees)
  7. HP Inc (1,400-1,499 employees)
  8. Fred Meyer (1,500-1,599 employees)
  9. Idaho Power Company (1,400-1,499 employees)
  10. Wells Fargo (1,400-1,499 employees)

The Boise metro has been actively attracting workers from all along the west coast as the cost of living continues to rise in places like the Bay Area and Seattle. "Boise was named the fastest-growing American city in 2018, and the main factors drawing in-migration are affordable housing, short commute times, low cost of living, and access to nature."

Top 13 "Best Performing Metros" 2021

BPC 2021: Top 10 Large Cities

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