Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.7% in March – down from February’s rate of 2.8%. This marks a new record low since the series began in 1976.
The number of Idahoans employed or looking for work grew by 5,082 people (0.5%) to 932,278. Labor force participation increased by 0.2 percentage points between February and March to 62%. Idaho’s peak participation rate reached 71.4% in September 1998.
Total employment grew from February by 6,467 (0.7%) to 907,537 while total unemployment dropped by 1,385 (-5.3%) to 24,741.
According to Help Wanted Online, there were 59,894 online job postings in Idaho during March, or 2.4 job openings for every unemployed Idahoan looking for work.
Idaho’s nonfarm jobs matched seasonal expectations in March, with a slight decrease of 400 jobs to 812,500. Total nonfarm jobs in Idaho were 5.1% above the February 2020 pre-pandemic peak. Industry sectors with the greatest over-the-month gains include natural resources (2.3%); other services (1.5%); financial activities (1%); private education services (0.8%); accommodation and food services (0.6%); professional and business services (0.4%); and health care and social services (0.3%).
Industries with the greatest job declines include retail trade (-1.2%); information (-1.2%); durable goods manufacturing (-1%); federal government (-0.8%); state government (-0.6%); wholesale trade (-0.6%); arts, entertainment and recreation (-0.6%); nondurable goods manufacturing (-0.3%); and transportation, warehouse and utilities (-0.3%).
Twin Falls experienced the fastest over-the-month nonfarm job gains among the state’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), increasing by 0.4%. Lewiston saw a nonfarm job increase of 0.3%, followed by Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, which all saw an increase of 0.1% each. Pocatello was the only MSA to experience a decrease in March (-0.3%).
Year over Year
Idaho’s unemployment rate was down 1.2 percentage points from March 2021. The labor force was up 2.2%, an increase of 20,255 people.
The number of unemployed Idahoans dropped 30.5% (-10,860) from March 2021, while the number of employed rose 3.6% (31,115).
Idaho’s nonfarm job total increased by 3.2% (25,400) over March 2021. Every major industry sector showed over-the-year job increases except for federal government (-2.2%) and private educational services (-1.5%).
All six of Idaho’s MSAs saw year-over-year nonfarm job gains. Coeur d’Alene and Pocatello shared the largest increase at 4.1% each, followed closely by Idaho Falls at 4%, Twin Falls at 3.7%, Boise at 3.6% and Lewiston at 2.1%.
Nationally, unemployment decreased from 3.8% in February to 3.6% in March, with the number of unemployed down 312,934 to 5.9 million. The national unemployment rate was 0.1 percentage points above its pre-pandemic rate of 3.5% in February 2020. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 431,000 (0.3%) to 150.9 million and was 1% below pre-pandemic levels.
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Upcoming Idaho Release Schedule:
May 20, 2022: Labor Force and Nonfarm Jobs Data for April 2022
The full release calendar for 2022 is available at https://www.labor.idaho.gov/dnn/lmicalendar