Idaho’s August unemployment rate increases to 3%


For Immediate Release: Sept. 15, 2023
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Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased in August, rising by two-tenths of a percent from 2.8% in July to 3%. This is the first time the state’s unemployment rate has been at or above 3% since November 2021.

August’s labor force increased by 1,874 people (0.2%) to 967,145.

Idaho’s labor force participation rate – the percentage of people 16 years of age or older who are employed or looking for work if unemployed – remained at 62.4% in August.

Total employment was effectively unchanged with an increase of 121 to 938,190 while unemployment increased by 1,753 (6.4%) to 28,955.

Idaho’s nonfarm jobs increased by 1,900 (0.2%) to 854,600 in August. Industry sectors with the greatest over-the-month gains include private educational services (3%), construction (0.9%), federal government (0.7%), local government (0.7%), other services (0.7%), and professional and business services (0.6%).

Industries with the largest job declines in August were durable goods manufacturing (-1.2%); financial activities (-1%); transportation, warehousing and utilities (-0.9%); and state government (-0.6%).

Two of Idaho’s six Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) experienced over-the-month nonfarm job increases in August. Boise and Coeur d’Alene both had an increase of 0.1%, while Twin Falls and Idaho Falls saw decreases of 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively. Lewiston and Pocatello had no measurable change.

Year over Year

Idaho’s August unemployment rate of 3% was two-tenths of a percent higher than a year ago. The labor force was up 1.4%, an increase of 13,092 people.

The number of unemployed Idahoans increased 9.4% (2,492) over the same period, while the number of employed rose 1.1% (10,600).

Idaho’s total nonfarm jobs increased by 2.7% (22,400). Most major industry sectors showed over-the-year job gains except manufacturing (-3.9%); real estate and rental and leasing (-3.5%); transportation, warehousing and utilities (-0.9%); and retail trade (-0.4%).

All but one of Idaho’s MSAs saw year-over-year nonfarm job gains. Idaho Falls saw the greatest increase at 4.2%, followed by Pocatello (3.3%), Coeur d’Alene (3%), Boise (2.7%), and Twin Falls (2.6%). Lewiston had no measurable over-the-year change in August.

National Comparisons

Nationally, the unemployment rate increased from 3.5% in July to 3.8% in August. The number of unemployed increased by 514,000 to 6.4 million. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 187,000 (0.1%) to 156.4 million.

Statistics for month-over-month and year-over-year increase in unemployment.

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Upcoming Idaho Release Schedule:
Oct. 20, 2023: Statewide and substate labor force and nonfarm jobs data for September 2023
Nov. 17, 2023: Statewide and substate labor force and nonfarm jobs data for October 2023

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