Idaho’s annual population growth from 2020 to 2021 at 2.9% led the other 49 states and Washington, D.C., in percent increase for the fifth consecutive year. The state gained 53,151 new residents – the ninth largest numeric change in the nation – for a new population estimate of 1.9 million, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released this week.
Idaho’s neighboring states of Utah and Montana ranked second and third respectively, each growing by 1.7%.
Domestic migration, or people moving from other states, was the primary driving component of Idaho’s population growth.
Idaho’s unemployment insurance (UI) program purpose is to replace a portion of an individual’s wages on a temporary basis when they lose a job due to no fault of their own. While the purpose is simple, it is a complicated machine subject to misconceptions.
This is the first installment in a series about Idaho’s unemployment insurance program and how it fits within the national system. The series will perhaps dispel some misunderstandings about the UI program as well.
Idaho’s UI program is one of 53 in the U.S. system that includes every state, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (U.S. Department of Labor: Employment & Training Administration, 2021). All programs share certain characteristics that are foundational to their creation in 1935 (Price, 1985).
In 2020, the overall workplace fatal injury rate in Idaho was 4.1% – a representation of the number of fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. This rate remains unchanged from 2019.
In 2020, there were 32 work-related fatalities recorded across Idaho, four fatalities less than a year ago and the lowest since 2017. Among all injuries, 23 were employees who worked for wage and salary, while fatalities for self-employed increased from 8 to 9 from 2019.
Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.6% in November, down 0.2 percentage points from October.
The state’s labor force grew by 1,017 people (0.1%) to 908,676 – marking four consecutive months with over-the-month labor force increases exceeding 1,000.
Labor force participation decreased slightly from 62.4% to 62.3% in November – a new historic low. Idaho’s peak participation rate reached 71.4% in September 1998.
Total employment grew by 2,309 to 884,865, up 0.3%, while total unemployment dropped 1,292 (5.1%) to 23,811.
Idaho’s nonfarm payroll jobs exceeded seasonal expectations at 787,900 in November, up 0.1% (800 jobs) from October. Industries showing growth included arts, entertainment and recreation (6.3%); private educational services (1.5%); transportation, warehousing and utilities (1.4%); wholesale trade (1.2%); retail trade (0.3%) and health care and social services (0.2%).
Idaho continued to experience rapid population growth, relatively low unemployment and a significant increase in business growth in 2020, even as the coronavirus pandemic caused major interruptions to the national and state economies.
Comparing Idaho’s 2020 economy with neighboring states gives economists a clearer perspective of the state’s economy and creates a roadmap of expectations for a full economic picture in 2021.
Idaho’s 2.1% population growth from 2019 to 2020 was the highest among the states for the fourth consecutive year. The U.S. Census Bureau will release state population estimates for 2021 on Dec. 21, 2021, and will reveal if Idaho’s population growth will continue to lead the nation.
Idaho private sector job gains exceeded job losses, yielding a net employment gain of 16,217 jobs during the first quarter of 2021.
From December 2020 to March 2021, gross job gains in Idaho totaled 53,979 while gross job losses totaled 37,762.
According to the U.S. Business Employment Dynamic (BED) report, both gross job gains and gross job losses declined in Idaho from fourth quarter 2020 (Figure 1).
The BED report, produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, covers job gains and losses at private sector firms and identifies whether the change is due to businesses opening or closing, or increases and decreases in employment at existing firms.
Gov. Brad Little appointed four new commissioners to Serve Idaho, the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism. The new commissioners include Kevin Bailey and Amy Little, both of Boise, Alina Rahim of Pocatello and Jordan Woods of Meridian.
The four join 14 governor-appointed commissioners whose mission is “To inspire and recognize volunteers and empower communities through service and AmeriCorps to solve Idaho’s unmet needs.”
“Our commissioners bring a wealth of knowledge and energy to the commission as well as first-hand knowledge of the benefits and rewards of service in our communities,” said Renee Bade, program manager for Serve Idaho.
Bailey was appointed as an ex-officio commissioner and is the President and CEO of the Idaho Nonprofit Center where he has overseen the organization since July 2021. He previously served as the CEO of the United Way of southeastern Idaho and has more than 10 years of nonprofit experience, including working in international development, higher education and community-based nonprofit work. Prior to moving to Idaho, Bailey served as the director of Federal Upward Bound projects for Nebraska Methodist College, the family strengthening coordinator for Catholic Charities of Omaha and worked as a teacher in both Virginia and Chile.