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Top 10 Jobs in Pocatello - Where It's Illegal Not to Smile!

Updated on December 13, 2009

Blackfoot, Idaho

[Photo public domain from from]
[Photo public domain from from]



Smiling Sustainable City of Pocatello

It is not illegal to frown in Pocatello Idaho today, but in another century, a law on the books did require a smile. It was good for getting along and good for businesses. In the 21st Century, Pocatello commemorates the tradition of the constant smile with the annual Smile Fest. It is as popular here as Forgiveness Day is in parts of Canada. It's pleasant.

Pocatello and its business incentives make foreign investors smile as well, and that is one of the reasons that this town was named one of the Top 10 Micro-Cities in North America for the Future. The city offers small town benefits of community connections and the growth potential of a metropolis.

Technology contributes to the status of aTop Micro-City among the field and this is shown with local employers like ON Semiconductor, the largest firm in the area. "ON" amazingly produces applications to serve all of the following: the automotive industry, computers/peripherals across varied professions, LED lighting, networking/telecommunications, power supply and circuit protection, and others.

Sustainability is targeted with wind power at Nordic Windpower, the product of two decades of R & D. They have proved that their own Nordic windpower technology is highly effective and efficient for over 10 years. This is a partnership among the Swedish, UK, and US professionals involved, and it works. Joining Nordic int he area is Hoku Scientific, active in solar and fuel cells as well as cleantech materials. The Bannock Development Corporation, listed in the links further below, wishes to bring more of these types of businesses into the Pocatello-Chubbuck-American Falls market.

SE Idaho Labor Market

Power and Bannock Counties are in the upper lefthand side of the exploded image section. This one micro area contains 2 out of 7 counties of the larger labor area.
Power and Bannock Counties are in the upper lefthand side of the exploded image section. This one micro area contains 2 out of 7 counties of the larger labor area.

King Potato

Pocatello and American Falls are the largest cities in Bannock and Power Counties, respectively and are within 21 miles of each other. The Greater Pocatello Area takes in all of Bannock and Power Counties in Southeastern Idaho and crosses into the Fort Hall Native American Reservation in Power County.

Pocatello City is the second city in Idaho honored in the Top 10 List of Micro-Cities for the Future in North America, listed 7th after Idaho Falls. These cities are among 10 smaller cities in America and Canada that are attractive to foreign investors, to domestic business owners, and to workers. They are often attractive to young families and to Mid-Careerists as well as to retirees that are loooking either to continue some form of employment or to finally retire from work. Pocatello is home to approxiamtely 55,000 people in 2009.

Most people have heard of the famous Idaho Potato. It's an icon of American agriculture and dining. This Southeastern Area includes Blackfoot, Idaho, which is also called the Potato Capital of the World.

The area enjoys a lower unemployment rate than the nation in the first part of 2009, but the labor force has decreased somewhat. Some workers moved out of the area and some couples decided that the expenses of the second spouse working were greater than that person;'s income, so they quit.

Bannock County has been boosted economically by the activites of the Idaho National Laboratory in its work in cancer prevention and treatment agents. Expected infrastructure improvements in local highways from 2009 - 2012 are expected to facilitate business further in Bannock County. Power County has been increasing its work in sustainable energies with improvement in coal production and new wind farms. Irrigation companies in Power County are successful in helping to increase food crops as a revenue source. The unemployment rate in both counties is lower that state and national averages in the first half of 2009, Power County being the lower of the two at 4.9% and Bannock at 6.5%.

Location of Jobs

Most of the jobs listed in June '09 on in the Pocatello - American Falls region within a 50-mile radius are in Pocatello and Idaho Falls. Additional work is located in Blackfoot, American Falls, Chubbock, and Fort Hall (on the Shohone-Bannock Fort Hall Reservation).

High-Growth Industries

Industries taking the lead in 21st Centuy Pocatello include clean technologies, sustainable energy, management across all industries, education, sales, and healthcare. Research partners such as Idaho State University and Bannock Development work together to foster business development and attraction for Pocatello. 

Top 5 Employers in Pocatello

  1. ON Semicondictor - IT technologies. 
  2. Idaho State University
  3. Portneuf Medical Center
  4. Heinz Frozen Foods
  5. Union Pacific Railroad

Largest Employer Job Listings

  1. Voyage Healthcare
  3. Gecko Hospitality
  4. CR England
  5. US Army National Guard
  6. Sears
  7. Idaho State University
  8. Beck-Field & Associates
  9. Portneuf Medical Center
  10. Red Lion Hotels

Jobs in Greater Pocatello

  1. Assistant Managers
  2. Kitchen Managers
  3. General Managers
  4. Respiratory Therapists
  5. Store Associates
  6. Independent Beauty Consultants - Sales
  7. Cardiologists - MDs
  8. Store Managers
  9. Sales & Merchandise Associates
  10. Convenience Store Managers

Pocatello City: Leading Job Openings on

  1. Assistant Managers
  2. General Managers
  3. Store Managers
  4. Financial Managers
  5. Plant Managers - Operations
  6. Kitchen Managers
  7. Internists – MDs (physicians)
  8. Occupational Therapists
  9. Customer Service Reps
  10. Cashiers

Top 10 Fast Growing Jobs through 2016

Long-term employment forecasts for the Greater Pocatello Area predict the quickest growth in the following 10 jobs:

  1. Customer Service Reps - matches actual job titles listed above.
  2. Electrical & Electronic Engineering Technicians
  3. Computer Software Applications Engineers
  4. "Other" Engineers - not listed in major categories.
  5. Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
  6. Conveyor Operators
  7. "Other" Sales Workers - Does not include retail salespersons and supervisors.
  8. Personal & Home Care Aides
  9. Business Operations Specialists
  10. Electrical & Electronic Equipment Assemblers

Additional Jobs Predicted to Be in High Demand:

  1. Retail Salespersons
  2. General Office Clerks
  3. Janitors and Cleaners - not Maids & Housekeepers
  4. Cashiers - matches actual Internet job listings.
  5. Waitstaff
  6. Heavy Truck Drivers
  7. Mainstream Elementary School Teachers
  8. Mainstream Secondary School Teachers
  9. General & Operations Managers - matches actual job listings above.
  10. Registered Nurses (RNs)

Job Trends in Pocatello and Nearby Cities

Job listigns have reisen in cities near Pocatello, but have raised and declined in Pocatello through 1st Qtr 2009. In 2nd Qtr 2009, Pocatello listings began to increase.
Job listigns have reisen in cities near Pocatello, but have raised and declined in Pocatello through 1st Qtr 2009. In 2nd Qtr 2009, Pocatello listings began to increase.

Shoshone and Bannock Nations

Native Americans in Pocatello in the 1880s. Today they grow potatoes.
Native Americans in Pocatello in the 1880s. Today they grow potatoes.

Annual Museum and Indian Festival at Fort Hall

Fort Hall Reservation

Fort Hall Indian Reservation is home to Bannock and Shoshone Nations and located in four counties in SE Idaho, including both Bannock and Power as well as Bingham and Caribou. The ruins of old Fort Hall, which was a stopover point on several trails blazed aross America to the West and the Gold Rush, are maintained on the reservation. A town called Fort Hall lies on the reservation and is the largest within reservation boundaries.

The City of Pocatello is named after Chief Pocatello of the Shoshone Nation, who made agreements with the Mormon settlers and their leader Joseph Smith. He also agreed with the US Federal Goverment to allow railroad lines to cross Native-held lands. The US Army came though and aditional conflicts occured because of this intrusion, resulting in 200 native deaths. Chief Pocatello tired to move his people West, but after some additional conflict, agreed to maintain them on a reservation beside the Snake River and was joined by some Bannocks.

The major industries on the reservation today include a resort and agriculture activiies involving wheat and potato crops. 


Story of the Idaho Potato


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    • wjames profile image


      8 years ago

      I wouldn't mine living here. We need this law everywhere else.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Interesting hub. Sounds like a great city. My ancestors were Cherokee. I'm pretty familiar with most American Indian tribes, but never heard of the Bannock. Did they only settle in Idaho?

    • RVDaniels profile image


      9 years ago from Athens, GA

      Really interesting and wellorganized. A+

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      fishinfreak2008! - You are exactly right about that. A visiting journalist to my city wrote a few years ago, "For a service-oriented city, I'd like to find some!"

      fortunerep - I agree it would be a grand law.

    • fortunerep profile image


      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Sounds like a great place to live!! Move to Idaho If you Need a job! The law about smiling is awaesome! We need those everywhere.


    • fishskinfreak2008 profile image


      9 years ago from Fremont CA

      "Where It's Illegal Not To Smile"? That should be part of a lecture called "Customer Service 101". Very interesting. Thumbs up


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