Idaho unemployment rate remains at 3.8% in September

Oct 21st, 2016 | By |

Press Release
Idaho Department of Labor SignIdaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held at 3.8 percent in September. Nationally the unemployment rate increased from 4.9 to 5 percent.

As the current business cycle’s economic expansion matures, Idaho continued to produce large over-the-year job growth in September, ranking third nationally. Total nonfarm jobs had a net gain of 21,500, or 3.2 percent, with all sectors except natural resources experiencing over-the-year job growth.

Month-to-month, growth in the state’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payrolls remained constant as 2,000 jobs were added between August and September. Employers in the leisure and hospitality sector led the way, retaining more jobs than expected for this time of the year, increasing 2.8 percent. Education and health services, construction, government, manufacturing and natural resources also realized monthly gains. The remaining five sectors – other services, trade, transportation and utilities, financial activities, information and professional and business services – experienced job declines.

Idaho’s labor force increased 1,100 to 813,400, total employment grew by 1,000 to 782,294 and the number of unemployed Idahoans rose by 150 people in September to 31,100.

For the fifth consecutive month, the state’s labor force participation rate remained unchanged at 64.1 percent; nationally the rate increased to 62.9 percent.

According to the Conference Board, a Washington, D.C., think tank, there were nearly 24,800 online postings for Idaho jobs in September. Of those, 4,850 were classified by department analysts as hard-to-fill. Health care jobs continued to account for more than 23 percent of those and included physicians, surgeons, psychiatrists and occupational and physical therapists. By volume, registered nurses and truck drivers maintained the first and second spots for the largest number of hard-to-fill jobs.

Annually, unemployment benefit payments were up from September 2015 by 2.3 percent – from $1.16 million a year ago to $1.19 million for September 2016. The number of weeks compensated dropped 3.8 percent over the year.

Twenty-one of Idaho’s 44 counties had unemployment rates above the state rate. Madison County experienced the lowest unemployment rate at 2.3 percent. Five counties experienced rates above 6 percent: Clearwater (7.4 percent), Adams (6.8 percent), Shoshone and Lewis (6.7 percent) and Lemhi (6.1 percent).

The Idaho Falls metropolitan statistical area (MSA) reported the lowest unemployment rate of all MSAs at 3.2 percent, down from 3.3 percent one year earlier. The Coeur d’Alene MSA experienced the highest unemployment rate among the MSAs at 4.6 percent, down from 5 percent the previous September.

Details on Idaho’s unemployment picture can be found at