Skip to main content

Trucking it to Idaho: U-Haul data says Gem State one of top moving destinations

Department of Labor data on job growth, openings back it up


Yet another growth metric ranks Idaho near the top of the nation.

The annual U-Haul Growth Index shows Idaho is the No. 6 growth state, rising four spots from its previous ranking. The growth index analyzed one-way customer moves during 2023.

Meanwhile, California saw the largest net loss of one-way movers using U-Haul equipment for the fourth year in a row. The other bottom-five states for growth were Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois and Massachusetts. New York ranked 43rd.

Idaho has ranked in the company’s top 10 destination states for three consecutive years. Boise and Nampa were the state’s top growth cities in 2023. The top growth states were Texas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

“Idaho is a great place to start a career,” Seth McIntier, U-Haul Company of Idaho’s president, said in a news release issued Tuesday. “When people decide to move, it’s often because of the job and housing markets. We have both — jobs and affordable homes. Since so many young people are moving to Idaho, there is a strong entrepreneurial spirit here.”

McIntier’s statement was backed up by recent reports from the Idaho Department of Labor.

The department reported last week that Idaho led the nation for median household income growth at a rate of 15%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018-2022 American Community Survey.

Moving vans fill the lot at the U-Haul Moving & Storage facility along Chinden Boulevard in Garden City on Wednesday. U-Haul has ranked Idaho in the company’s top 10 destination states for three consecutive years. 

And in November, the state’s 3.3% unemployment rate was the lowest in the Pacific Northwest.

Idaho achieved a 10-year low in that category from March-May in 2022, when the unemployment rate stayed steady at 2.5%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Bolstering the state’s low unemployment rate are nonfarm jobs, which increased by 3.1% (26,100) this year, the second-highest percentage change in the nation, according to the Department of Labor. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary numbers for November 2023 indicate there were 862,000 nonfarm workers in Idaho — up from 644,000 10 years ago.

“Idaho, especially Boise, offers a great job market,” McIntier said, pointing to St. Luke’s Health System and Albertsons as major employers.

Idaho is tied for 10th nationally with 6.4 job openings per 1,000 people — ahead of the nationwide rate of 5.5. Some of the state’s industries that have seen the biggest growth in the last couple of years include education, professional and businesses services, construction, and health care, Idaho Department of Labor Economist Jan Roeser told the Idaho Press on Wednesday.

The data says jobs are available and being taken in the Gem State. McIntier has also seen trucks come into — and stay in — the Treasure Valley firsthand.

He and his wife, who are from Boise, moved back to the City of Trees from Utah in January 2023. In the year since, and especially in the last six months, inbound equipment has doubled, if not tripled, outbound equipment, he said.

Moving vans fill the lot at the U-Haul Moving & Storage facility along Chinden Boulevard in Garden City on Wednesday. 

“For every truck that goes out, it seems like we get two in, maybe even more than that,” McIntier said in a phone interview with the Idaho Press.

U-Haul facilities in Utah, which ranks 13th in U-Haul’s growth index, were experiencing the opposite and called on McIntier to help restock their fleet.

“They were begging me for trucks. We were trying to get trucks to them as much as possible because they were running out of fleet to rent,” McIntier said. “The Boise area’s been completely stacked. We can’t get trucks out of here fast enough. We’ve tried discounting to incentivize people to get trucks to Utah.”

“Utah is growing a lot, but it seems more transient there,” McIntier added. “Boise, it seems like people move here and they stay here. They don’t leave.”

U-Haul’s numbers differ slightly from the U.S. Census Bureau’s, which say Idaho grew the fourth-most, percentage-wise, in the nation from 2022 to 2023 (1.3%). The state’s population is approaching 2 million people — 25.3% more than in 2010.

Other notable net-gain markets include Twin Falls, Coeur d’Alene, Kuna, Post Falls, Meridian, Blackfoot, Mountain Home and Lewiston, the U-Haul release said.

The Idaho Falls Post Register contributed to this report.

Back to top