Idaho’s 35 credit unions drove a positive, $638 million impact on the Gem State’s economy in 2016, according to a just-released, independent economic analysis performed by ECONorthwest.
ECONorthwest is a Pacific Northwest-based consulting firm providing unbiased analysis of economic and consumer trends. The 2017 Economic Impacts of Credit Unions in Idaho report measured jobs, economic output, and income supported by the credit unions, as well as the direct benefits delivered to each of the 917,400 Idahoans who are credit union members.
In commissioning the first-of-its-kind analysis of Idaho credit unions, the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) continues its commitment to document the significant economic impact of the region’s credit unions. NWCUA released an independent economic analysis of Oregon and Washington credit union impacts early in 2017. With the Idaho report complete, Northwest credit unions’ collective economic impact is now documented at $8.4 billion.
“Performing a high-level, independent economic analysis documents credit unions’ economic impact on communities, and the financial empowerment they provide to members,” said Troy Stang, NWCUA president/CEO. “This new, leading-edge study will help elected officials and other community groups understand that Idaho credit unions’ not-for-profit, cooperative structure inherently holds them accountable to members. This data makes it clear that consumers must always have access to the cooperative financial services model.”
Idaho’s credit unions collectively returned $89.9 million in direct member benefits last year, and an average of $98 to each member. Members reinvested those benefits in local communities, generating $90.4 million of spending in the state.
The ECONorthwest analysis documents that Idaho credit unions are providing 2,520 family-wage jobs for Idahoans, who earned $147 million in compensation.
Roughly 55% of Idaho’s population belongs to a credit union. Credit Unions are financial services partners to consumers in 34 of Idaho’s 44 counties, including many rural communities, where 153,000 people are members.
In addition to the economic impact measured by the 2017 Economic Impacts of Credit Unions in Idaho, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) noted that in 2016, Idaho’s credit unions had more than 548,000 loans outstanding to their members, totaling $7.3 billion.
“Credit union loans represent a significant investment in working-class Idahoans,” Stang said. “Those loans help to put members’ families in their dream homes, help them buy the cars that get them to work, and help them to start small businesses.”