Published: December 29, 2020 | Updated: December 22, 2020

We sure missed you, John

Mike Patrick

Mike Patrick

One of the Christmas season treasures scuttled by the pandemic was the highly anticipated appearance of renowned economist John W. Mitchell.

Each December for years now, Mitchell has regaled a packed house at the Best Western Plus Coeur d'Alene Inn with a sketch of what's happened, a preview of what really could happen, and a healthy dose of wit capped by the reading of a poem that encapsulates what he's been talking about.

He's a terrific economist and presenter. John's got a little ways to go to be the next Longfellow, however, which makes his poems that much more delightful.

So that's the bad news. No presentation in front of hundreds of local business people courtesy of the Coeur d'Alene Regional Chamber of Commerce. But we do have some good news.

On a tight deadline cramped by Zoom presentations to Portland and Coos Bay audiences, Mitchell delivered a 2021 forecast exclusively for The Business Journal of North Idaho. He's one of us, you know, having settled down here after roaming much of the country in his impressive career.

You'll want to read every word of his forecast, but we'll tell you this much now: All things considered, Idaho is in great shape from a jobs perspective, and it will head into the new year with one of the most robust housing markets in the nation.

Mitchell says the region's allure to transplants will continue to strengthen the local economy. But as always, there's uncertainty on the horizon — perhaps even more than usual as we all navigate this pandemic together.

John, your community greatly appreciates you. Hopefully this time next year we can all be together again. Can't imagine two years without a John Mitchell poem.

— Mike Patrick, BJNI editor