Idaho’s May Unemployment Rate Falls to Historic Low of 2.5%


For Immediate Release: June 17, 2022
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Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.5% in May, down from April’s rate of 2.6%. May’s rate marks the fourth consecutive month of historic lows since record keeping began in 1976.

Idaho map-county unemployment rates May 20223=The number of Idahoans employed or looking for work grew by 6,373 people (0.7%) to 943,390. Labor force participation increased by 0.3 percentage points between April and May to 62.4%. Idaho’s peak participation rate reached 71.4% in September 1998.

Total employment grew from April by 6,823 (0.7%) to 919,785 while total unemployment dropped by 450 (-1.9%) to 23,605.

According to Help Wanted Online, there were 63,998 online job postings in Idaho during May, or 2.7 job openings for every unemployed Idahoan looking for work.

Idaho’s nonfarm jobs fell short of seasonal expectations in May, showing an adjusted decrease of 1,900 jobs to 813,300. Industry sectors with the greatest over-the-month gains include information (2.5%); durable goods manufacturing (1.2%); accommodation and food services (0.6%); and professional and business services (0.6%).

Industries with the greatest job declines in May were arts, entertainment and recreation (-4%); state government (-3.8%); natural resources (-2.1%); financial activities (-1.8%); private educational services (-1.4%); and nondurable goods manufacturing (-1.3%).

Twin Falls experienced the only over-the-month nonfarm job growth among the state’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), increasing by 0.4%. Lewiston saw the largest nonfarm job decrease of 0.7%, followed by Coeur d’Alene with 0.6%, Idaho Falls with 0.4% and Pocatello with 0.3%. Boise experienced no measurable change.

Year over Year

Idaho’s unemployment rate was down 1.2 percentage points from May 2021. The labor force was up 3%, an increase of 27,595 people.

The number of unemployed Idahoans dropped 31.2% (-10,701) from May 2021, while the number of employed rose 4.3% (38,296).

Idaho’s total nonfarm jobs increased by 2.8% (22,400) over May 2021. Every major industry sector showed over-the-year job increases except for federal government (-3%) and private educational services (-0.7%).

All six of Idaho’s MSAs saw year-over-year nonfarm job gains. Twin Falls saw the largest increase with 5.2%, followed by Pocatello (4.9%), Idaho Falls (4%), Boise (2.8%), Coeur d’Alene (2.7%) and Lewiston (1.4%).

National Comparisons

Nationally, unemployment went mostly unchanged with the unemployment rate remaining at 3.6% in May and the number of unemployed down 11,880 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 390,000 (0.3%) to 151.7 million and was 0.5% below pre-pandemic levels.


* Editors / News Directors – please note:
Today’s full report can be viewed on the state’s labor market information website.

Upcoming Idaho Release Schedule:
July 21, 2022: Labor Force and Nonfarm Jobs Data for June 2022

The full release calendar for 2022 is available at