Idaho’s November Unemployment Rate Drops to 2.6%


For Immediate Release: Dec. 17, 2021
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November Unemployment Rate – 2021

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%).

Industries with fewer jobs than expected included federal government (-1.5%), other services (-0.8%), manufacturing (-0.6%), construction (-0.3%), professional and business services (-0.3%), financial activities (-0.2%), accommodation and food services (-0.1%) and local government (-0.1%). 

Idaho Falls was the only Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) to experience over-the-month nonfarm job growth with an increase of 0.4%. Coeur d’Alene saw no measurable change. Three MSAs saw nonfarm job declines: Pocatello (-0.5%), Lewiston (-0.3%) and Boise (-0.1%). 

Year over Year

Idaho’s labor force was up 0.8% from November 2020, an increase of 7,061 people.

Total unemployment dropped 38.4% (14,813) from November 2020, with the number of working Idahoans up 2.5% (21,874).

The state’s nonfarm job total increased by 2.1% (16,500) over November 2020 and was 1.9% above its February 2020 pre-pandemic peak.

Every major industry sector showed over-the-year job increases in November except for federal government (-3%); manufacturing (-2.7%); and professional and business services (-2%). Leisure and hospitality – the most adversely affected industry during the pandemic – was 7.5% above where it was one year ago.

All five of Idaho’s MSAs saw year-over-year nonfarm job gains. Pocatello showed the greatest increase at 5.3%, followed by Idaho Falls (3%), Lewiston (2.8%), Coeur d’Alene (2.7%) and Boise (2%).

National Comparisons

Nationally, unemployment dropped from 4.6% in October to 4.2% in November, with the number of unemployed down 620,884 to 6.8 million. The nation’s labor force increased by 594,000 to 162.1 million. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 210,000 to 148.6 million.


Idaho’s 2021 BLS release calendar is available at

1 thought on “Idaho’s November Unemployment Rate Drops to 2.6%

  1. Pingback: Press Release: Idaho’s unemployment rate drops again, economy continues to strengthen – Idaho Dispatch

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