Tag Archives: unemployment rate

Idaho’s January Unemployment Rate Steady at 2.8 Percent

News Release

For Immediate Release: March 11, 2019
Information Contact: Craig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201 or Karen Jarboe Singletary (208) 332-3570 ext. 3215

Third Fastest in the Nation for Over-the-Month Job Growth

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 2.8 percent – the third consecutive month at this rate and the 14th consecutive month at or below 3 percent following the benchmarking of 2018 estimates.


The slight increase of Idaho’s seasonally adjusted over-the-month nonfarm payroll jobs was the third fastest in the nation – increasing by 4,500 in January to 746,800.


The biggest month-to-month industry job gains, all at or above 1 percent, were in construction, manufacturing, other services, financial activities, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality. Information and government were the only two sectors that experienced job declines.

Among Idaho’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), month over month, the Coeur d’Alene MSA was the fastest growing at 1.4 percent growth or 900 jobs.


An additional 2,052 people entered the workforce from December to January, pushing Idaho’s seasonally adjusted labor force number up to 864,446. Total employment increased by 1,438 to 840,074, and the number of unemployed increased by 614 to 24,372.   Continue reading

Idaho’s 2018 Annual Average Unemployment Rate Remains at 2.8 Percent

News Release

For Immediate Release: Feb. 28, 2019
Information Contact: Karen Jarboe Singletary, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3215 or Robert Kabel, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3886

Idaho’s statewide seasonally adjusted annual average unemployment rate remained at 2.8 percent for 2018 according to benchmarked numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

BLS’ annual benchmark process is conducted in cooperation with the Idaho Department of Labor and includes re-estimations based on updated data from the U.S. Census Bureau, BLS and other sources.

Idaho’s annual average total labor force increased by 2.6 percent between 2017 and 2018 to 856,795. Total employment increased by 3.1 percent and the total number of unemployed dropped 9.6 percent from 2017. Continue reading

Demystifying Idaho’s Unemployment Rate

Idaho’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 2.6 percent for November 2018, the most recent data available. This is the 15th consecutive month that Idaho’s rate has been at or below the low rate of 3 percent. But what does 3 percent employment mean? Three percent of what?

The answer to what the unemployment rate means and how it’s determined is best understood within the context of the numbers that are also reported with it each month. The unemployment rate is a figure that measures the unemployed segment of the labor force, which is itself a subgroup of the civilian population and one of a few terms that describe different states of people in the population and their relationship with work and the economy.

The major subgroups of the larger civilian population include the labor force, employed and unemployed. The relationship among these various groups provide the basic measures of the participation rate and unemployment rate.

Continue reading

Idaho’s April Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 2.9 Percent


For Immediate Release: May 18, 2018
Information Contact: Karen Jarboe Singletary (208) 332-3570 ext. 3215 and Craig Shaul (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201

April Marks Fourth Month in Top Two in the Nation for Over-the-Year Job Growth

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 2.9 percent in April, continuing an eight-month run at or below 3 percent.

The state’s labor force – the total number of people 16 years of age and older working or looking for work – continued to increase, gaining 1,242 people from March to April for a total of 849,373.

Continue reading

Data Mining Tools You Can Use

Idaho Occupational Employment and Wages Survey – 2014

Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 11.17.46 AMPaying a competitive wage is a critical factor for employee retention. Wages for more than 750 Idaho occupations can now be found on the Labor Market Information website at: http://lmi.idaho.gov/oes. The data is gathered through a survey of Idaho businesses which collects the number of employees by occupation and pay range. Only wage and salary-type compensation data are reported. Fringe benefits, overtime, bonuses, incentive pay and other non-wage earnings are not included.

BEA Prototype Features State GDP Figures by Quarter

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis is now releasing state gross domestic product figures by quarter. The new data set is designed to provide a fuller description of the accelerations, decelerations and turning points in the economy at the state level. Released as a prototype, the new data also includes key information about the impact of industry composition differences across the states. Adjusted for inflation, real gross domestic product measures the market value of goods and services produced within the state and is generally considered a measure of economic activity. For more information, visit the news release section of the BEA website.

A National Living Wage Calculator

MIT professor Amy Glasmeier’s “The Living Wage Calculator” shows the hourly rate someone needs to earn in every Idaho county as well as the country. Glasmeier used the data to create a map which shows the difference between the minimum wage and the amount of money necessary to meet a minimum standard of living around the U.S. The darker red areas indicate a large gap; the orange areas are a smaller gap.

Estimates for the living wage – defined as the amount needed to cover food, child care, insurance, health care, housing, transportation and taxes – are gleaned from official sources, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, divided over a work-year of 2,080 hours. – From the Washington Post

Idaho Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment – 2014

Annual labor force, employment and unemployment for Idaho and its substate areas can now be found for 2014 in the Geographic Profile of Employment and Unemployment, available on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website at www.bls.gov/opub/gp/laugp.htm. The profile is generated by data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program, which is administered for Idaho by the state Department of Labor.

Ending Emergency Benefits and the Impact on Idaho’s Unemployment Rate

Will ending emergency unemployment compensation impact Idaho’s unemployment rate?

Extended benefits for about 2,500 Idahoans ended Dec. 31. And while there will be a measureable impact on Idaho’s economy of 2,500 claimants losing extended benefits – around $600,000 a week – it will have little impact on the state’s official unemployment rate, which measures people actively looking for work, or the rate that includes people who are discouraged or working only part time because they cannot find full-time jobs.

Whether someone is receiving benefits or even eligible for benefits is not a consideration when calculating Idaho’s or the national unemployment rate, which is based on public responses to the monthly Current Population Survey. People receiving extended benefits are already included in both measures and will continue to be factored in as unemployed, as long as they continue actively seeking work.

Where the expiration of benefits could indirectly impact the rate are discouraged and involuntary part-time workers – if enough claimants change their job search behavior now that extended benefits have ended. For example:

People receiving extended benefits are included in the basic unemployment rate and a broader rate that includes discouraged and involuntary part-time workers. If these people are receiving extended benefits, they are presumably unemployed, available for work and actively seeking work – criteria to be considered as unemployed and necessary for collecting benefits. These people will remain in these measures if they continue to look for work now that extended benefits have expired.

If a job seeker stops looking for work once extended benefits expire because they believe there are no jobs available even if they want to work, that individual is still included in the broader measure of unemployment as a discouraged worker. If they are available to work but not currently looking for work for reasons beyond discouragement, they are considered as a marginally attached worker and is still included in that broader measure. In both instances, the basic unemployment rate could decline.

If extended benefits have expired and the job seeker can only find a part-time job despite wanting full-time work, they are considered as working  “part time for economic reasons,” or involuntarily part time, and still included in the broader measure of unemployment.

If a person stops looking for work and no longer wants to work once unemployment benefits expire, they are considered to have left the labor force and are not included in any unemployment rate calculation. This group includes retirees, students and homemakers. Their departure from the labor force could reduce both the basic and broader unemployment rates.

Bob Uhlenkott, chief research officer

 • • •

Regional economist Will Jenson recently explained the various levels of unemployment, who gets counted and what these various rates mean in a recent Idaho Employment article called Alternative Measures of the Unemployment Rate.

FAQ Friday – How is the unemployment rate calculated?

 Q: How can the unemployment rate be accurate when it only includes people receiving unemployment insurance benefits and many people who are out of work don’t receive unemployment insurance benefits?

A: Many people assume that the unemployment rate is based only on unemployment insurance (UI) claims, but it actually is based on several elements and takes into consideration that many unemployed people do not receive unemployment benefits.

Unemployed people can be assigned to one of these four categories:
Continue reading

Changes in Idaho’s Alternative Unemployment Measures

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released a new set of alternative unemployment measures for four quarters through September 2013, and Idaho posted the largest percentage improvement for the U-1 unemployment rate. This measure includes those who are unemployed for 15 weeks or more. Only four other states posted double-digit declines but Idaho’s 13 percent decrease was the largest.

chartIdaho’s U-1 unemployment rate decreased by four-tenths of a point – falling from 3.1 percent for the year ending in June 2013 to 2.7 percent in the year ending in September. Over the year Idaho’s U-1 unemployment rate decreased by 29 percent – only Hawaii showed greater improvement – declining by 31 percent. Continue reading