Clearwater county growth rate

This is from the most recent annual report of the electrical utility cooperative in north central Idaho:


Boomershoot is located in Clearwater county. There was nearly a 30% increase in cooperative members in just one year. People are leaving the blue states and moving to Idaho. I have posted about this before. But I did not know any county by county numbers.

Another indicator is that recently I was talking to a guy that works for a construction company out of Orofino (Clearwater County). They mostly do  earth moving and concrete stuff. He said they have a three year backlog.

We live in interesting times. Prepare appropriately—If it is not too late.


7 thoughts on “Clearwater county growth rate

  1. It’s not too late for other areas. The plains states and parts of the Ozarks are wide open and they are all quite conservative except for the few liberal big cities although there is some influence of the liberal disease scattered about (as best I can tell not all that different from Idaho). And gun laws in those areas are permissive (including stand your ground and concealed carry without permit).

  2. If I had better cash flow, I’d be buying a chunk of land and backhoe, and starting a fair piece of it myself. Selling here and moving there with that kind of backlog is a problem.

  3. RE: That 3-year backlog….how long is the annual construction season in Clearwater county? I’d guess probably 6-7 months, maybe as many as 8 in warmer years but once the daytime temps fall below the mid-20s and stay there, dirt moving stops.

    A 3-year backlog under those conditions wouldn’t be unreasonable, someplace where construction can continue for 12 months it would be. That said, one has to work within the conditions that exist.

    • That is probably about right. The lower elevations don’t freeze much but things get too wet for part of the year.

      But with that sort of backlog you would think new businesses would start up, or existing businesses would expand, to meet the demand.

      One has to wonder what the growth rate would be without those constraints. Home and land prices have soared too yet people are still moving to the area.

      • People are still able to move even with rising prices, because they are getting ridiculously inflated prices for their homes in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties. I should have moved about 5 years ago (and was seriously planning to do so) but I think I missed the best opportunity. I don’t really want to move from one built-up area to another area that’s going to be facing the same challenges of rapid suburban growth. And unfortunately, some percentage of the people moving to Idaho will be bringing their Seattle politics with them….

        Think I’ll end up just staying here on my five acres in rural Snohomish county. Unless I move to Arkansas or South Dakota.

      • RE: “…you would think new businesses would start up, or existing businesses would expand…”

        Dirt moving is an expensive business to get into and good equipment operators possess a rather specialized skill.

        Smaller equipment is cheaper to buy (“less capital”) but more expensive to operate (takes longer to do a job); too small wastes time, too big can’t be used on medium or small jobs, so the “sweet spot” is very “local conditions dependent” and it still ain’t cheap, either to own and to run. Then there’s the guy running it (female operators exist but are a rarity); it takes time to learn “how,” more time to learn “good,” still more to learn “very good” (which pays quite well, which is why the 25-year veteran operator is expensive – he can make a D6 do 90% of what a D9 will and do it in 2/3 the time the 3-year guy takes). If the money-generating season is 6-8 months long but the eating-and-mortgage-paying season is 12 months long, that mismatch tends to produce “frequent and instantaneous self-generated mobility.” If you can’t move dirt 3-4 months/year there has to be something that generates income; surviving between seasons becomes a highly valued skill and not everyone masters it. Every hour $200+K equipment is not running is an hour it’s generating a loan interest burden, not income and the same is true for the operators.

        I’d wager a lot of the companies would like to expand, or new ones move into the market, but are very mindful of the limitations.

  4. Lucky over here in Idaho Co. Our growth rate is low because almost everything was already sold.
    Inflated property costs have insured only people from big money are going to be able to move here.
    The fun part is watching them build these giant monuments to vainity. Then about the second winter throwing in the towel. The winters here not for the timid Californios.
    It’s a spectacular rise to watch. But nothing lasts in this world. Especially not real estate bubbles.
    And when it crashes, it will go fast. I watched my cousin lose his ass in the Seattle bubble of the 90’s. Got stuck with three home he couldn’t give away.

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