Idaho’s March Unemployment Rate Down to 3.2%


For Immediate Release: April 16, 2021
Media Contacts: Karen Jarboe Singletary, or Salvador Vazquez,

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.2% in March, dropping slightly from a revised 3.3% in February.

With an over-the-month increase of 1,100 jobs, the state’s nonfarm payroll growth has leveled off over the past two months.

Civilian Labor Force

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted labor force was virtually unchanged in March at 899,375, down from 899,915 in February.

The total number of working Idahoans increased by 501 in March to 870,560.

The number of unemployed Idahoans dropped 3.5% to 28,815.

March’s labor force participation rate – the percentage of people 16 years and older with jobs or looking for work – was 62.8%, down slightly from 6.3% in February.

Idaho’s labor force showed year-over-year gains, up 1% (+9,185 people) over March of 2020. Total unemployment was 4,485 (+18.4%) higher than year-ago levels due to large pandemic-related job losses early in 2020. However, the number of Idahoans with jobs was up one-half of a percent (+4,700) over March 2020.

Nonfarm Jobs

An additional 1,100 nonfarm jobs brought March’s total to 783,800 (+0.1%). Two industry sectors experienced substantial job gains from February – natural resources (+2.6%) and financial activities (+1.8%). Two additional industry sectors experienced moderate over the month job gains – education and health services (+0.7%) and leisure and hospitality (+0.6%). Six industry sectors were essentially unchanged from February, and professional and business services saw a loss of 1,700 jobs (-1.7%).

Seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs were up by 10,900 over March 2020, representing a year-over-year increase of 1.4%. Six industries showed job gains, led by financial activities (+9.4%) construction (+7%) and trade, transportation and utilities (+5.0%). Three of the four industries hit hardest by pandemic job losses — information (-11.4%), other services (-6.3%), and leisure and hospitality (-0.5%) — were below year-ago levels. Government also experienced a year-over-year loss of 1%.

Four of Idaho’s five Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) saw nonfarm job gains from February to March 2021. Coeur d’Alene saw the highest increase at 0.9%, followed by Idaho Falls at 0.5%.

Year-over-year, the Idaho Falls MSA saw the greatest job gains at 4.3%. Coeur d’Alene (+3.2%) and Pocatello (+3.2%) also experienced substantial gains, while Boise saw a slight increase.

National Comparisons
Nationally, March’s unemployment rate dropped slightly, from 6.2% to 6%, with the number of unemployed decreasing by 262,000 to 9.7 million. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 916,000 to 144.1 million for March, but the number of employed nationwide was still 5.5% – or 8.4 million – below its pre-pandemic peak in February of 2020.


For details on Idaho’s labor market, visit

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