Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts tagged as “Micron Technology”

The business base

One of the key economic points we try to pay attention to is the matter of a local economy's base - the core of service or production that serves as the center of the economic engine. In times past, for example, you might have a group of farmers who raise crops; that production forms a center of economic production, which spreads outward toward crop storing and transportation, toward business and legal and medical services, toward needed retail, and so on and on. Usually such an economic base, its central engine, is manufacturing or production of some sort, or at least something generating value. If there's not a strong core generating value, then much of what happens in an area is simply the shifting around of money, and that can become a declining circle as everyone takes out their piece. A value, a wealth, enhancer needs to be somewhere central in the system, and best if the association is tight with one of the largest employers in the area.

So the throwaway line in the stories about Micron Technology's diminished employment in the Boise area - by August, estimated to be about 5,000 - have significance even beyond the considerable and very important direct loss of jobs. Micron, which for a decade or more has been the largest private employer in Idaho, also adds a lot of wealth as a manufacturer of high-tech materials, has been a wealth/value-creator, which has made it a very useful central economic engine.

What does it say about the structure of Idaho's economy that the pending biggest private employers in the state come August will be a hospital network - St. Luke's (about 7,600 jobs) - and a big-box retailer - Wal-Mart (about 6,900)? What sort of an an economic base do they form? Maybe even more than the raw loss of jobs, Idaho policy makers need to start considering seriously how the state's economy is structured.

Micron’s shift out

micron

Micron

It was going to happen sooner or later; the foreshadowing has been here and elsewhere for a long time. But the cuts announced today at Micron Technology at Boise - about 2,000 Boise-area jobs to be gone by August or so - are still a stunner in the community. A lot of area businesses, real estate sales people and legislators as well may b gasping for air this morning.

"Micron Technology Responds to Continued Decreases in Demand," runs the press release, which may be true, but also is reflective of a long-term shift for not only Micron but aso most others in high tech; among other things, a shift overseas. Core sentence for local purposes: "This action will reduce employment at Micron’s Idaho sites by approximately 500 employees in the near term and as many as 2,000 positions by the end of the company’s fiscal year."

The outward swirl from the change will hit at least a couple of thousand other jobs, depress real estate prices and maye shutter a few businesses. Not a happy prospect at the moment.

The Idaho Statesman calculates that the move will take Micron job levels back to the early 90s, when it was in aggressive expansion mode, and make it not the first but second largest employer in the state. A major, major development; one of the top Idaho stories of the year.