Idaho’s February unemployment rate down to 2.6%


For Immediate Release: March 24, 2023
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Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.6% in February, edging down from January’s revised rate of 2.7%.

January’s labor force – workers who are employed or unemployed but looking for work – increased by 1,681 people (0.2%) to 958,117.

Idaho’s labor force participation was unchanged between January and February, remaining at 62.6%.

Total employment increased by 2,237 (0.2%) to 932,972 as unemployment decreased by 556 (-2.2%) to 25,145.

Idaho’s nonfarm jobs increased by 1,100 to 845,100 in February. Industry sectors with the greatest over-the-month gains include state government (4.7%), wholesale trade (2.2%), federal government (1.5%), information (1.1%), other services (1.1%), private education services (0.6%), and health care and social services (0.5%).

Industries with the greatest job declines in February were construction (-1.4%); transportation, warehousing and utilities (-1.3%); arts, entertainment and recreation (-0.7%); durable goods manufacturing (-0.7%); and professional and business services (-0.7%).

Three of Idaho’s six Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) saw over-the-month nonfarm job increases in February. Idaho Falls saw the largest increase at 0.3%, followed by Boise (0.2%) and Coeur d’Alene (0.1%). Pocatello experienced the greatest decrease in nonfarm jobs (-1.5%), followed by Lewiston (-0.7%) and Twin Falls (-0.2%).

Year over Year

Idaho’s unemployment rate was unchanged from February 2022. The labor force was up 1.6%, an increase of 15,241 people.

The number of unemployed Idahoans increased 3.8% (912), while the number of employed rose 1.6% (14,329).

Idaho’s total nonfarm jobs increased by 3% (24,900). Every major industry sector showed over-the-year job gains except for transportation, warehousing and utilities (-7.7%); and nondurable goods manufacturing (-2.3%).

All of Idaho’s MSAs saw year-over-year nonfarm job gains. Pocatello saw the greatest increase at 5.5%, followed by Boise (3.7%), Idaho Falls (3.1%), Coeur d’Alene (2.9%,), Twin Falls (0.4%) and Lewiston (0.3%).

National Comparisons

Nationally, the unemployment rate increased from 3.4% in January to 3.6% in February. The number of unemployed increased by 346,748 to 6 million. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 311,000 (0.2%) to 155.4 million, which is above pre-pandemic levels.

Table: Idaho labor force data February 2023


* Editors / News Directors – please note:

February and March data have nonstandard release dates due to the Bureau of Labor Statistics benchmarking process.  Substate benchmark and estimate data for January and February availability is also delayed due to benchmarking.

Upcoming Idaho Release Schedule:

April 14, 2023: Substate labor force data for January 2023 and February 2023, substate data.
April 21, 2023:  Statewide and substate labor force and nonfarm jobs data for March 2023.


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