Idaho’s population and economy are booming – we were the second fastest-growing state in the nation last year, according to the U.S. Census. That influx of new residents has also helped make us No. 1 in the nation for economic growth, according to the 2021 U.S. News Best States rankings.
Not only are we outpacing the nation when it comes to job and career growth, we’re especially dominating in industries like technology, advanced manufacturing, food production, energy and outdoor recreation, all of which have a strong presence in our local economy.
In addition to attracting out-of-state talent, local colleges like Boise State University and the College of Idaho ensure future generations of skilled professionals will be ready to step up and lead the area's growing companies.
Unemployment in the Boise metro is consistently below the national average, coming in at 3.3% in March 2021 (compared to the national average of 6.3%) with projected annual job growth of 2.1%. In the past decade, job growth in the Boise metro area has increased by more than 18%. In the past year alone, it’s jumped up more than 6% – in the midst of a pandemic, if you’ll recall.
The following is a list of the top largest private employers in the Boise area, along 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. Treasure Valley YMCA
With facilities across the Treasure Valley, the YMCA employs a good portion of Boise-area residents. Four full facility locations serve the local community, plus activities at over 80 locations throughout the valley, meaning there’s ample opportunity to join the organization and promote healthy living and community vibrancy.
4. 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.
5. 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 LaserJet printer in Boise. Today, the company has split into two entities, HP Inc. and Hewlett-Packard, both of which have a presence in Boise.
6. Winco Foods
Headquartered in Boise, Winco Foods is a highly popular local employer. With 120 employee-owned locations across ten states, this ever-expanding grocery store chain boasts of high employee satisfaction and career advancement opportunities.
7. IDACORP Inc.
A subsidiary of Idaho Power, IDACORP provides hydropower to its customers. For over 100 years, IDACORP has been providing clean and low-cost power to Idaho residents. IDACORP employs engineers, technicians, administrative staff, and more throughout the Boise area and the state of Idaho.
8. Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is a household name across the country. With several branch locations in the Boise area, it’s also a major employer in the Treasure Valley. Wells Fargo has career opportunities available often and provides ample scope for growth and learning.
9. 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.
10. Boise Cascade
A manufacturer and building materials distributor, Boise Cascade is a large employer in the Treasure Valley area. Their distribution center and main offices in Boise offer career opportunities ranging from trucking to account management.
11. 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.
12. Citi Corp
Citi Corp is a multinational investment bank and financial services corporation. Their Meridian call center is a major employer in the area and is known for good benefits, a wonderful work atmosphere, and excellent workplace culture. According to reviews from employees, Citi Corp is “the best place to work,” and a “very diverse company [with] friendly people to work with.”
One of the biggest names in retail has a sizable footprint in the Boise area and employs many residents. Based in the neighboring state of Washington, Costco provides a family-focused work environment with excellent benefits and competitive wages.
14. Amalgamated Sugar Company
You’d be hard-pressed to find a sweeter gig than working for the second-largest sugar manufacturer in the U.S., where they take sugar beets farmed from more than 700 local member farms and refine them into sugar. With around 750 employees, job opportunities are diverse. The range from chemical engineers and crop consultants to warehouse managers and packaging engineers.
15. 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.
With nine locations within the Boise city limits alone, McDonald’s is a familiar local employer to a wide range of residents. Ranking among the top employers in Boise, McDonald’s offers career opportunities and advancement for many Treasure Valley residents, from teenagers looking for summer jobs to experienced professionals.
The wickless candle and scented wax company Scentsy is based in the Treasure Valley and has a beautiful headquarters in Meridian. Scentsy attracts top talent with promises of a fun, fulfilling work environment that puts family first and is “a little offbeat.” From marketing strategists to logistics analysts, job opportunities abound at Scentsy.
18. 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. It is growing its 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.
19. 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.
Ataraxis is a locally-owned PEO or Professional Employment Organization. As a business consulting and HR management firm, Ataraxis assists other companies with functions such as payroll, employee relations, benefits, compensation, and more.
21. Jacksons Food Stores
Jacksons Food Stores are dotted throughout the Treasure Valley and offer career opportunities to many local residents. With tuition reimbursement, growth potential, advanced training, and management training programs, Jacksons is an attractive option for many job-seekers. A featured review from a Boise employee on the Jacksons website says it all: “The tuition reimbursement program with Jacksons has been very beneficial to me! School is expensive as it is, and without Jacksons, I don’t think I would have started my schooling. This is a great company to work for!”
We’re all familiar with the brown-and-gold vans of the United Parcel Service. In fact, for anyone who’s eagerly awaited a package, seeing that van is about as exciting as a Santa Claus sighting. Boise’s growing hub is always hiring warehouse workers, package handlers, and customer service representatives – and advertise $15/hour for even part-time work.
Formerly known as Perspecta, this IT company provides tech services to local, state and federal government agencies – including conducting research projects, like testing commercial 5G broadband prototypes for the Department of Defense. If you’re interested in innovative new technologies, they routinely hire information security architects, computer engineers, operations analysts and IT project managers.
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.
Headquartered in Boise, this medical equipment company has grown to include more than 70 branches in the West, and supplies home medical equipment (like oxygen tanks and wheelchairs) to people who need them. Because the company straddles both the medical and supply industries, it hires for positions like production and maintenance technicians, as well as respiratory therapists and clinical assistants.
Lisa is a top Idaho Realtor and creator of WeKnowBoise.com. Whether buying or selling a home, we provide full-service real estate solutions dedicated to helping our clients achieve their goals. From Southeast Boise to the North End, up to Eagle and west to Meridian, or right in the middle of the Boise Bench and downtown - We Know Boise.
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