Idaho’s July Unemployment Rate up Slightly to 2.9 Percent

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: Aug. 16, 2019
Information Contact: Robert Kabel (208) 332-3570 ext. 3886 or Darlene Carnopis (208) 332-3570 ext. 3439

Over-The-Year Nonfarm Job Growth Remains Stable

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged up from 2.8 in June to 2.9 percent in July, the 20th consecutive month at or below 3 percent.

An additional 2,834 people made themselves available for work in July, pushing Idaho’s seasonally adjusted labor force up to 876,539. The number of unemployed increased by 400 to 25,061. Total employment grew by 2,434 to 851,478.

Idaho’s labor force participation rate – the percentage of people age 16 years or older working or looking for work – remained at 64 percent.

Over the year, July’s statewide labor force was up 17,996 (2.1 percent), total employment was up 16,814 (2 percent) and there were 1,182 more unemployed workers. Seasonally-adjusted nonfarm jobs were up 2.8 percent from July 2018 representing a gain of 20,600 jobs. Five of Idaho’s industry sectors experienced job gains of three percent or greater: 6.9 percent in professional and business services (6,500 jobs), 4.1 percent in manufacturing (2,800 jobs), 3.9 percent in other services (1,000 jobs), 3.5 percent in financial activities (1,300 jobs) and 3.2 percent in education and health services (3,400 jobs).

Online job listings dropped to 27,740 in July compared with 29,000 a year ago, according to the Conference Board, a Washington, D.C., think tank. Of those, 6,646 openings were classified as hard-to-fill by department analysts, down from 7,046 a year ago. Hard-to-fill positions are posted for 90 days or more. Health care jobs, including physicians, surgeons, psychiatrists, occupational and physical therapists and support positions, represent roughly 20 percent of all hard-to-fill online openings.

Idaho nonfarm jobs increased by 4,100 from June to July for a monthly total of 760,600. Idaho’s 0.5 percent nonfarm job growth was the second fastest over-the-month growth rate in the nation. Nine of Idaho’s 11 industry sectors experienced growth, led by financial activities (+2.1 percent), information (+1.2 percent) and trade, transportation, and utilities (+0.7 percent). Natural resources and construction saw no change to employment levels, meeting seasonal expectations.

Job growth for the Pocatello Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was the fastest, up 0.8 percent or 300 jobs from June to July 2019. The Idaho Falls MSA experienced the strongest seasonally adjusted over-the-year nonfarm percentage growth in Idaho, adding 2,500 jobs (3.7 percent).

Annually, unemployment insurance benefit payments were up 13.6 percent from a weekly average of $1,049,300 a year ago to $1,192,500 weekly for July 2019. Claimants increased by 6.4 percent to 3,898 from a weekly average of 3,664 a year ago.

Nationally unemployment was unchanged at 3.7 percent in July. Total unemployed was up 88,000 from June for a total of 6.1 million people looking for work. A year earlier, the national unemployment rate was 3.9 percent, and the number of unemployed was 6.2 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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