Boise's largest employers have seen significant business and economic growth over the past decade, particularly in the technology and innovation industries. It’s not surprising, then, that Forbes ranked the Boise metro area as the number one fastest growing economic area in 2017 and #28 in the nation for jobs and careers.
The technology, advanced manufacturing, food production, energy, and outdoor recreation industries all have a strong presence in the Boise economy. With nearby schools like Boise State University and the College of Idaho, there’s no shortage of qualified workers to feed into the area’s growing companies.
Unemployment in Boise is consistently below the national average, coming in at 2.6% in March 2019 with projected annual job growth of 2.1%. In 2017, Boise’s job growth was nearly double the national average at 4.1%, with professional, scientific, and technical services growing 38 percent over the previous five years alone.
The following is a list of the top 10 largest private employers in the Boise area with short descriptions.
1. Albertsons, Inc.
The services industry in Idaho is a top employer, and nationally, Albertsons provides jobs to over 280,000 people. The grocery giant has acquired brands such as Safeway and Paul’s in recent years, adding to its footprint in the northwest. Joe Albertsons opened the first Albertsons store on 16th and State Street in 1939, and the company remains headquartered in Boise. Albertsons jobs range from produce stockers to financial analysts.
2. Blue Cross of Idaho
Blue Cross of Idaho is the state’s oldest health insurer, covering around a quarter of Idaho’s population. The company’s headquarters in Meridian employs nearly 900 people, with more positions at their Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Pocatello, and Coeur d’Alene locations. Founded in the 1940s, Blue Cross of Idaho is a major employer in the Ada County area.
3. Fred Meyer
Another grocery chain giant in the Boise economy is Fred Meyer. With three Boise locations, the company provides jobs to over 2,000 Ada County residents. While the chain is not headquartered locally, there are plenty of career opportunities through Fred Meyer, including pharmacists, retail jobs, and more.
4. Hewlett-Packard Co. / HP Inc.
Known for innovation and leadership in the technology industry, HP is one of the biggest employers in Idaho. HP Inc. is one of the world’s largest technology companies and headquartered its printer division in Boise in 1973, solidifying the Treasure Valley’s position as a hot spot in the technology industry. The company developed its first laser jet printer in Boise. Today, the company has split into two entities, HP Inc. and Hewlett-Packard, both of which have a presence in Boise.
5. Idaho Power Co.
Idaho Power employs nearly 2,000 individuals and serves over 550,000 customers in their 24,000 square miles of service area. Headquartered in downtown Boise, Idaho Power relies heavily on hydroelectric generating plants throughout Idaho and eastern Oregon and manages the transmission and distribution of electricity throughout their service area. Jobs for Idaho Power range from engineering to administrative, with a whole host of opportunities in between.
6. J.R. Simplot Company
J.R. Simplot Company is an Idaho staple, employing thousands of Idahoans. Founded by Idaho native J.R. Simplot, this food production company has helped turn the state into an agricultural powerhouse. If you’re a fan of French fries or chips, chances are good that you’ve eaten a Simplot potato. The headquarters and processing plants for J.R. Simplot are located in Boise.
7. Micron Technology, Inc.
Another big player in the technology industry, Micron is headquartered in Boise and provides jobs for thousands of Idahoans. With 17 worldwide locations, Micron is a leader in the memory and information sectors, driving innovation and research for over 40 years. What began in a Boise basement in the 1970s has blossomed into a worldwide leader in technology.
8. Saint Alphonsus Health System
The Saint Alphonsus Health System employs over 5,000 Idahoans and provides some of the highest paid positions in the state. This four-hospital, faith-based healthcare network includes cardiac care, ER, urgent care, women's health, orthopedic care, and clinics. The healthcare industry continues to grow in Idaho, offering career opportunities and necessary services to thousands of residents.
9. St. Luke’s Health System
With locations across the Treasure Valley and throughout southern Idaho, the St. Luke’s Health System is an award-winning network of hospitals, clinics, and healthcare providers. This Idaho-based, not-for-profit health system provides work for over 10,000 Idahoans and is growing their footprint in the valley with an expansive remodel of their downtown location and more offices opening all the time. They also operate Idaho’s only Children’s Hospital and are currently expanding their Idaho Elk’s Children’s Pavilion.
One of the most recognizable names in the retail and grocery industry, Walmart is an enormous employer in the Treasure Valley. With multiple locations, the job opportunities at Walmart abound, from entry-level positions to management. Walmart provides jobs to over 7,000 Idahoans across the state.