Idaho's job growth, unemployment hold steady

Posted at 11:02 AM, Mar 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-25 13:02:26-04

Idaho’s labor market conditions in February were little changed from January -- as the unemployment rate remained at 3.9 percent, Idaho Department of Labor officials said.

Idaho’s non-farm payrolls grew by a seasonally-adjusted 0.2 percent in February, with only slight decreases in wholesale trade, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and total government.

Meanwhile, seasonally-adjusted non-farm jobs grew by 26,400, or 4.0 percent, the largest increase since 2006, officials said. Industries with the greatest over-the-year gains were leisure and hospitality; transportation, warehousing and utilities; construction; and other services. Mining and logging was the only sector to show a decline.

Nationally, the unemployment rate also remained unchanged at 4.9 percent. This is the third consecutive month that Idaho’s unemployment rate has remained at 3.9 percent, experts stated.

Idaho’s February seasonally-adjusted labor force remained essentially unchanged at 806,670. Total employment also remained relatively flat with an increase of 640 to 775,600, and the number of unemployed dropped by 320 to 31,080.

February’s labor force participation rate -– the percentage of people 16 years and older with jobs or looking for work –- remained at 64.1 percent for the third consecutive month. Based on on-line job posting data from The Conference Board, there is just over one out-of-work Idahoan per job listing.

Eighteen of Idaho’s 44 counties had unemployment rates at or below the state rate. Clark and Madison counties experienced the lowest rates in the state with 2.6 percent and 2.7 percent respectively. Lewis County had the highest rate at 8.0 percent, officials said.

The Idaho Falls area reported the lowest unemployment rate (3.4 percent), while the Coeur d’Alene area experienced the highest rate, 5.1 percent.