Idaho’s November Unemployment Rate Down Slightly to 2.6 Percent

For Immediate Release: Dec. 21, 2018

Information Contacts: Craig Shaul (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201 or Karen Jarboe Singletary (208) 332-3570 ext. 3215

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.6 percent in November, down slightly from October and continuing at or below 3 percent for the 15th consecutive month.

The state’s labor force – the total number of people 16 years of age and older working or looking for work – was 854,243, increasing by 0.1 percent and essentially unchanged since July.

Total employment increased by 1,198 to 831,851, while the number of unemployed people decreased by 433 to 22,392.

Idaho’s labor force participation declined one-tenth of a percentage point to 63.4 percent as Idaho’s total population continued to outpace labor force growth.

Over the year, the statewide labor force in November was up 12,160 (1.4 percent), total employment was up by 14,900 (1.8 percent) and there were 2,740 (10.9 percent) fewer unemployed persons.

According to the Conference Board, a Washington, D.C., think tank, there were 22,925 online Idaho job openings in November compared with 25,358 a year ago. Of these postings, 6,235 were classified as hard-to-fill by department analysts, down from 6,770 in November 2017. Hard-to-fill positions are those continuously posted for 90 days or more. Health care occupations, including physicians, surgeons, psychiatrists, occupational and physical therapists and support positions, represented about 18 percent of all hard-to-fill online job openings.

Total nonfarm jobs increased by 400 in November from October, a change of 0.1 percent. The Education and Health Services, Trade and Transportation, Professional and Business Services, Financial Activities and Manufacturing sectors experienced greater-than-expected changes. Leisure and Hospitality, Construction and Information experienced job level declines, while job levels in the Natural Resources, Other Services and Government sectors remained unchanged

Year over year, the state continued to see strong job growth. Total nonfarm jobs grew by 1.8 percent for a total of 13,200 jobs. Every industry sector experienced job growth except for Information, which had 600 fewer jobs this November compared with the previous year, and Leisure and Hospitality, down 800 jobs from last year. The fastest movers were the Natural Resources and Professional and Business Services sectors, with jobs increasing by 5.9 percent, closely followed by the Manufacturing sector with 4.7 percent growth.

Nonfarm job levels remained steady for all five of Idaho’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). Boise’s increase of 600 jobs was followed by Lewiston, up 300 jobs and Idaho Falls, up 100 jobs. Coeur d’Alene and Pocatello were unchanged from October to November.

Over the year, Idaho’s five MSAs all experienced gains in nonfarm payroll employment. Boise added 8,500 jobs (2.6 percent), Coeur d’Alene added 2,200 jobs (3.4 percent), Idaho Falls added 1,200 jobs (1.8 percent), Lewiston added 1,000 jobs (3.4 percent) and Pocatello added 500 jobs (1.3 percent).

Annually, unemployment insurance benefit payments were down 19.7 percent from a weekly average of $1,708,000 one year ago to $1,371,000 for November 2018. The number of claimants decreased by 19.8 percent to 4,500 from a weekly average of 5,700 a year ago.

The national unemployment rate for November was 3.7 percent, unchanged since September. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 100,000 to 6 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons declined by 0.4 percent and 641,000, respectively. []

December 2018 labor force and nonfarm payroll data for Idaho will be released on Jan. 18.

For details on Idaho’s labor market, visit

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