Idaho’s January unemployment rate down to 2.7%


For Immediate Release: March 13, 2023
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Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.7% in January, edging down from the revised 2.8% rate in December.

December 2022’s unemployment rate was revised down from 2.9% due to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual benchmarking process. This realignment of labor market variables is not an indicator of any changes in the state’s economy. (More information about the benchmarking process can be found below.)

January’s labor force – workers who are employed or unemployed but looking for work – increased by 1,593 people (0.2%) to 956,389.

With the labor force growing at a slower pace than the civilian population, Idaho’s labor force participation decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 62.6%.

Total employment increased by 2,264 (0.2%) to 930,683 as unemployment decreased by 671 (-2.5%) to 25,706.

Idaho’s nonfarm jobs increased by 4,600 to 842,000 in January. Industry sectors with the greatest over-the-month gains include state government (3.9%), durable goods manufacturing (2.9%), construction (2.7%), professional and business services (1.6%), information (1.1%) and wholesale trade (1.1%).

Industries with the greatest job declines in January were arts, entertainment and recreation (-3.7%); private education services (-1.8%); and nondurable goods manufacturing (-1.3%).

Four of Idaho’s six Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) saw over-the-month nonfarm job increases in January. Pocatello saw the largest increase at 4.1%, followed by Boise (0.5%), Coeur d’Alene (0.4%) and Twin Falls (0.2%). Idaho Falls and Lewiston experienced no change.

Year over Year

Idaho’s labor force data for 2022 was revised based on new inputs and population data provided through the annual benchmarking process. This incorporates revisions to state labor force estimates including population, total employed, unemployed, unemployment rate and total nonfarm jobs.

Idaho’s unemployment rate was unchanged from January 2022. The labor force was up 1.8%, an increase of 16,700 people.

The number of unemployed Idahoans increased 2.3% (579), while the number of employed rose 1.8% (16,121).

Idaho’s total nonfarm jobs increased by 3.1% (25,600). Every major industry sector showed over-the-year job gains except for transportation, warehousing and utilities (-5.7%); arts, entertainment and recreation (-2.2%); and nondurable goods manufacturing (-1.0%).

All of Idaho’s MSAs saw year-over-year nonfarm job gains. Pocatello saw the greatest increase at 7.3%, followed by Boise (4.3%), Coeur d’Alene (3.4%,) Idaho Falls (3.0%), Twin Falls (1.6%) and Lewiston (1.4%).

National Comparisons

Nationally, the unemployment rate decreased from 3.5% in December to 3.4% in January. The number of unemployed decreased by 135,000 to 5.6 million. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 517,000 (0.3%) to 155.1 million, which is above pre-pandemic levels.

Idaho Labor force data table for January 2023

Comparison – Idaho 2022 Benchmark Statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised Idaho’s 2022 labor market data during its annual benchmarking process to include updated information, such as Census population data or employment surveys provided by businesses.

Revisions are made to state labor force estimates – population, total employed, unemployed, unemployment rate and total nonfarm jobs – based on new inputs and population data. Nonfarm jobs are benchmarked using reported employer data.

The BLS adjustments for Idaho resulted in a lower unemployment rate than what was initially reported for most months in 2022, as well as a higher labor force participation rate.


* Editors / News Directors – please note:

February and March will have nonstandard release dates due to this Bureau of Labor Statistics benchmarking process.

Upcoming Idaho Release Schedule:

March 24, 2023: Labor Force and Nonfarm Jobs Data for February 2023, statewide data only

April 14, 2023: Labor Force and Nonfarm Jobs Data for January 2023 and February 2023, substate data

April 21, 2023:  Labor Force and Nonfarm Jobs Data for March 2023, statewide and substate data


This (project) is 100% funded by the U.S. Department of Labor as part of an Employment and Training Administration award totaling $695,785.