Idaho’s October Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 2.9 Percent


For Immediate Release: Nov. 15, 2019
Information Contact: Karen Jarboe Singletary (208) 332-3570 ext. 3215 or Darlene Carnopis (208) 332-3570 ext. 3439

— 23 Months at or Under 3 Percent —

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 2.9 percent in October for the fourth consecutive month.

An additional 2,438 people made themselves available for work in October, pushing Idaho’s seasonally adjusted labor force up to 884,545. The number of unemployed increased by 112 to 25,736. Total employment grew by 2,326 to 858,809.

Idaho’s labor force participation rate – the percentage of people age 16 years or older working or looking for work – remained unchanged at 64.1 percent.

Over the year, October’s statewide labor force was up 22,051 (2.6 percent), total employment was up 19,965 (2.4 percent) and there were 2,086 more unemployed persons. Seasonally-adjusted nonfarm jobs were up 2.2 percent from October 2018, a gain of 16,400 jobs. Professional and business services (6.4 percent) and financial activities (4.1 percent) showed the largest percentage gains while information (-7.9 percent) and natural resources (-2.8 percent) showed the largest percentage losses.

Online job listings reached 28,019 in October, down slightly from 28,100 a year ago, according to the Conference Board, a Washington, D.C., think tank. Of those, 9,464 openings were classified as hard-to-fill by department analysts, up from 8,828 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 21 percent of all hard-to-fill online openings.

Idaho nonfarm jobs decreased by 3,000 (-0.4 percent) from September to October for a total of 757,300. Eight of Idaho’s 11 industry sectors did not meet seasonal expectations, and information and trade, transportation, and utilities sectors gained a combined 500 jobs. Natural resources remained unchanged.

Job growth for the Pocatello Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) remained unchanged, Coeur d’Alene MSA increased by 300 jobs (0.4 percent) and Boise City (-0.6 percent), Idaho Falls (-0.3 percent) and Lewiston (-0.3 percent) together declined by 2,200 jobs.

Unemployment insurance benefit payments were down 0.8 percent from a weekly average of $838,000 one year ago to $831,200 weekly for October 2019. The number of claimants dropped by 7.4 percent over the year to 2,465 from a weekly average of 2,661.

Nationally unemployment increased one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.6 percent in October. Total unemployed increased by 86,000 from September for a total of 5.86 million people looking for work. One year earlier, the national unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, and the number of unemployed reached 6 million. []

Labor force data for Idaho’s counties and cities can be found at

For details on Idaho’s labor market, visit

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