January unemployment rate unchanged at 3.9 percent

Published: Mar. 14, 2016 at 1:56 PM MDT
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Idaho began 2016 with continued job growth and low unemployment.

Nonfarm jobs grew by 26,200 seasonally adjusted jobs – or 3.9 percent, the largest January to January increase since 2006.

Industries showing the greatest gains include leisure and hospitality, education and health services; and transportation, warehousing and utilities. Information, mining and logging were the only sectors to show declines.

Month over month, Idaho’s nonfarm payrolls grew by a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent in January with increases in transportation, warehousing and utilities, financial activities, and education and health.

January’s unemployment rate went unchanged from December at 3.9 percent. Nationally, unemployment fell to 4.9 percent, down slightly from 5 percent in December.

An additional 1,600 people entered the workforce, pushing Idaho’s January seasonally adjusted labor force number to 806,200. Total employment increased by 1,900 to 774,800 and the number of unemployed dropped by 300 to 31,400.

January’s labor force participation rate – the percentage of people 16 years and older with jobs or looking for work – remained at 64.1 percent, the same rate reported for December. Based on online job posting data from The Conference Board, there is just over one out-of-work Idahoan per job listing.

Annually, unemployment benefit payments were down from January 2015 by 2.1 percent - from $3.53 million a year ago to $3.46 million for January 2016. The number of weeks compensated dropped 6.2 percent over the year.

Idaho’s county rates for January and February 2016 will accompany the February employment release on Friday, March 25.

Details on Idaho’s unemployment picture can be found at