Idaho’s April Unemployment Rate Down Slightly to 2.8 Percent

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: May 17, 2019
Information Contact: Craig Shaul (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201 or Karen Jarboe Singletary (208) 332-3570 ext. 3215

Steady Nonfarm Job Growth Continues

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped slightly to 2.8 percent in April, the 17th consecutive month at or below 3 percent.

An additional 1,768 people made themselves available for work between March and April, pushing Idaho’s seasonally adjusted labor force up to 869,968. The number of unemployed decreased by 234 – down nearly one percent to 24,683. Total employment grew by 2,002 to 845,285.

Idaho’s labor force participation rate – the percentage of people age 16 years or older working or looking for work – increased to 63.9 percent.

Over the year, April’s statewide labor force was up 16,647 (2 percent), total employment was up 16,752 (2 percent) and there were 105 fewer unemployed. Seasonal nonfarm jobs were up 2.5 percent from April of 2018 representing a gain of 18,700 jobs. Four of Idaho’s industry sectors experienced job gains of three percent or greater: 5.6 percent in other services (1,400 jobs), 4.8 percent in construction (2,300 jobs), 4.7 percent in professional and business services (4,400 jobs) and 3.3 percent in financial activities (1,200 jobs).

There were 27,948 online Idaho job openings in April compared with 29,612 a year ago, according to the Conference Board, a Washington, D.C., think tank. Of these postings, 5,426 were classified as hard-to-fill by department analysts, down from 6,249 a year ago. Hard-to-fill positions are continuously posted for 90 days or more. Health care jobs, including physicians, surgeons, psychiatrists, occupational and physical therapists and support positions, represent nearly 25 percent of all hard-to-fill online openings.

Idaho nonfarm jobs increased by 1,900 for a monthly total of 752,600. Financial activities (+1.1 percent), construction (+1 percent) and education and health services (+0.7 percent) showed the largest monthly industry job gains. Trade, transportation, and utilities, natural resources, manufacturing and information were the only four sectors that experienced declines, shedding a combined total of 900 jobs.

Job growth for the Idaho Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was the fastest, up 1.2 percent or 800 jobs from March to April 2019. The Idaho Falls MSA also experienced the strongest seasonally adjusted over-the-year nonfarm growth in Idaho, adding 3,300 jobs (4.9 percent).

Unemployment benefit payments were up 11.8 percent from a weekly average of $1.5 million last year to $1.68 million for April 2019.

Nationally the unemployment rate dropped slightly to 3.6 percent in April 2019, down 387,000 from March for a total 5.8 million people looking for work. A year earlier, the national unemployment rate was 3.9 percent, and the number of unemployed was 6.3 million. [https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm]

Labor force data for Idaho’s counties and cities can be found at https://lmi.idaho.gov/laus.

For details on Idaho’s labor market, visit lmi.Idaho.gov.

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