Idaho’s July Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 3%


For Immediate Release: Aug. 20, 2021
Media Contact: Craig Shaul, or Karen Jarboe Singletary at

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 3% from June to July.

Total employment grew to 876,204, up 0.1% (+1,094), while total unemployment dropped 1.6% (-429) to 26,717.

Idaho’s labor force grew by one-tenth of a percent to 902,921 (+665), marking four consecutive months of gains. The labor force participation rate decreased from 62.6% to 62.5%.

In July, Idaho’s nonfarm payroll jobs increased to 790,800, up 0.4% (+2,900) from 787,900 in June. Industries showing solid job gains included local government (+2.7%); natural resources (+2.5%); financial activities (+1.2%); accommodation and food services (+1.0%); transportation, warehouse and utilities (+0.7%); and construction (+0.5%).

Five industries experienced notable job declines in July: information (-2.7%); durable goods manufacturing (-1.3%); nondurable goods manufacturing (-1.3%); arts, entertainment and recreation (-0.8%); and state government (-0.6%).

Four of Idaho’s five Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) saw nonfarm job gains. Pocatello experienced the largest gain at 2.8%, followed by Boise
at 0.7%, Coeur d’Alene at 0.6% and Idaho Falls at 0.4%. Lewiston experienced no change in July.

Total unemployment dropped 48.5% (-25,209) from July 2020 to 26,717 as out-of-work Idahoans returned to work, pushing employment up 4.9% (+40,940) to 876,204.

Idaho’s nonfarm jobs increased 5.1% (+38,500) from July 2020 — 2.2% above its prior February 2020 peak. Idaho is one of only two states in the nation to have fully recovered from pandemic job losses.

Every major sector showed increases except for Information, which decreased by 1.4%. Leisure and hospitality — the most affected industry during the pandemic — was 14% above where it was one year ago.

All five of Idaho’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) saw year-over-year nonfarm job gains. Pocatello showed the greatest increase at 7.8%, followed by Coeur d’Alene (+5.8%), Idaho Falls (+5.3%), Boise (+5.2%) and Lewiston (+2.8%).

The state’s labor force – the only indicator that did not experience a sharp decline during the pandemic – also showed gains from July 2020, up 1.8% (+15,731) to 902,921.

National Comparisons
Nationally, the unemployment rate saw a substantial drop from 5.9% in June to 5.4% in July, with the number of unemployed down 791,336 to 8.7 million. The nation’s labor force increased by 261,000 to 161.3 million. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 943,000 to 146.8 million.


Idaho’s 2021 BLS release calendar is available at