Idaho unemployment rate holds steady, ranks third in nation for job growth

Published: Oct. 23, 2016 at 10:53 AM MDT
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Although the unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percent to five percent in the nation, Idaho's unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent in September.

As the current business cycle's economic expansion matures, Idaho continued to produce large over-the-year job growth in September, ranking third nationally.

Total non-farm jobs had a net gain of 3.2 percent with all sectors except natural resources experiencing over-the-year job growth.

On a monthly basis, growth in the state's seasonally adjusted nonfarm payrolls stayed the same. Employers in the leisure and hospitality sector retained more jobs than expected with an increase of nearly 3 percent.

Education and health services, construction, government, manufacturing and natural resources also had monthly gains. However, the remaining sectors -- other services, trade, transportation and utilities, financial activities, information and professional and business services -- noticed a decline.

Idaho's labor force increased to 813,400, total employment grew by 1,000, and the amount of unemployed residents rose by 150 people in September.

Based on the Washington D.C. think tank Conference Board, nearly 24,800 Idaho jobs were posted online in September. Department analysts classified nearly 5,000 of those jobs as 'hard-to-fill'. About a quarter of those were health care jobs that included physicians, surgeons, psychiatrists, and occupation and physical therapists.

Registered nurses and truck drivers remained the top two positions that were hard to fill.

Annually, unemployment benefit payments were up from September 2015 by 2.3 percent - from $1.16 million a year ago to $1.19 million for September 2016. The number of weeks compensated dropped 3.8 percent over the year.

Twenty-one of Idaho’s 44 counties had unemployment rates above the state rate. Madison County experienced the lowest unemployment rate in the state at just over 2 percent.

What are unemployment rates in South Central Idaho?

Based on seasonally adjusted rates, Lincoln county saw the biggest drop by 0.3 percent to 4 percent from August to September. However, it remains the county in the area with the highest rate.

Jerome county experienced the only rise in the area with jobless rates increasing by 0.1 percent to 3 percent.

Blaine, Minidoka, and Gooding counties noted a 0.1 percent drop while Cassia, Twin Falls, and Camas counties held steady between the past couple months.