Business & Economy

Traditionally, Coeur d’Alene’s economy was based on the natural resources sector. Massive surrounding forests provided timber for mills to convert to boards and plywood. The Silver Valley to the east was at one time the richest mining district in the world.Today it is still one of the richest silver mining regions worldwide. These industries provided high-paying jobs, but they also were subject to cyclical economic downturns and job losses due to technological advancements. While these enterprises continue today, Coeur d’Alene’s economic base has expanded to include many new industries.

The tourism industry employs over 10,000 people in northern Idaho, accounting for 6.8 percent of the region’s payroll in 2010. Tourism is projected to add 1,560 more jobs in northern Idaho by 2020, with the largest increase  in  amusements,  gambling  and  recreation. Arts, entertainment and recreation, coupled with accommodations and food services should add 10,000 jobs statewide during the same period.

Diversified manufacturing expanded in the 1990s. Led by Empire Airlines and Unitech Composites, thirty-five businesses are now involved in an aerospace consorsium, all producing products for the aerospace industry. Heavy manufacturing is thriving and represented by Ground Force Worldwide Mine Support Equipment and Pacific Steel. The technology sector is currently led by Esterline who specializes in avionics and controls, and Ednetics who specializes in networks and security systems for the education sector.

Kootenai County is served by Frontier’s advanced digital network with cutting-edge switching technology and fiber deployment which has attracted customer service call centers to the area, such as U.S. Bank, Coldwater Creek and Center Partners. To serve potential manufacturers or commercial businesses, the area has more than 12 industrial parks.

Click on the information below for more targeted and specific details about living and working in the greater Coeur d'Alene area.

Additionally,  we highly recommend you visit Kootenai County Indicators; a website compiled by  Eastern Washington University. This website provides more than 130 indicators across the county in various community sectors, including demographics, education, public saftey, and economic vitality.