Idaho’s June Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 2.9 Percent


For Immediate Release: July 20, 2018
Information Contact: Karen Jarboe Singletary (208) 332-3570 ext. 3215 or Robert Kabel (208) 332-3570 ext. 3886

— Sixth Month in Top Two Over-the-Year Job Growth in the Nation —

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 2.9 percent in June, continuing at or below 3 percent for the 10th consecutive month.

The state’s labor force – the total number of people 16 years of age and older working or looking for work – continued to increase, gaining 971 people from May to June for a total of 851,599.

Total employment increased by 1,032 to 827,084, keeping pace with the state’s labor force growth, while the number of unemployed remained virtually unchanged at 24,515.

Idaho’s labor force participation rate remained steady at 63.9 percent.

Over the year, statewide labor force for June was up 20,286 (2.4 percent), total employment was up by 21,983 (2.7 percent) and there were 1,697 (6.5 percent) fewer unemployed persons.

According to the Conference Board, a Washington, D.C., think tank, there were 24,941 online Idaho job openings in June compared with 26,028 a year ago. Of these postings, 5,440 were classified as hard-to-fill by department analysts, down from 5,939 in June 2017. Hard-to-fill positions are continuously posted for 90 days or more. Health care occupations, including physicians, surgeons, psychiatrists, occupational and physical therapists and support positions, represented about 16 percent of all hard-to-fill online job openings.

Total nonfarm jobs increased by 2,000 in June. Five industry sectors – professional and business services; leisure and hospitality; education and health services; construction; and trade, transportation and utilities – all exceeded seasonal expectations for a combined increase of 2,700 jobs. Three sectors – financial activities, manufacturing and government – decreased by a total of 700 jobs from May, while employment in natural resources, information and other services remained unchanged.

Year over year, the state continued to see strong job growth as employers increased payrolls. Total nonfarm jobs grew by 3 percent – for a total of 21,700 jobs – the fastest growth rate in the nation in June, tied with Utah. Four of Idaho’s industry sectors saw over-the-year job increases of 4 percent or higher – construction up 6 percent, natural resources up 5.7 percent, manufacturing up 4.5 percent and leisure and hospitality up 4 percent.

Monthly job gains were reported for all five of Idaho’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). Boise led the way with an increase of 1,700 jobs, while Lewiston and Pocatello each added 300 jobs and Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls added 200 jobs each.

Over the year, Idaho’s five MSAs all experienced gains in nonfarm payroll employment. Boise added 10,100 jobs, Coeur d’Alene added 2,200 jobs, Idaho Falls added 1,300 jobs, Pocatello added 1,000 jobs and Lewiston added 800 jobs.

Annually, unemployment insurance benefit payments were down 20 percent from a weekly average of $1.3 million a year ago to $1 million weekly for June 2018. The number of claimants decreased by 21 percent to 3,500 from a weekly average of 4,400 a year ago.

Twenty-two of Idaho’s 44 counties had unemployment rates above the state rate in June. Four counties experienced rates at or above 5 percent: Clearwater at 6.8 percent, Shoshone at 6 percent, Lewis at 5.9 percent and Adams at 5.5 percent. Madison County’s unemployment rate remained the lowest at 1.6 percent.

Nationally, June’s unemployment rate was 4 percent, an increase of 0.2 percentage points as labor force growth outpaced job growth. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 213,000. Labor force participation increased to 62.9 percent.

July’s 2018 labor force and nonfarm payroll data for Idaho will be released on Aug. 17.

For details on Idaho’s labor market, visit