Northwest

Idaho unemployment rate falls to 3.8 percent in March

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in March, declining one-tenth of a percent from February.

Ada County’s March unemployment rate declined one-tenth of a percent to 3.3 percent. Canyon County’s declined three-tenths of a percent to 4.3 percent.

Over the year, seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in Idaho grew by 24,000 — or 3.6 percent — the largest March-to-March increase since 2006.

Construction, manufacturing, education, health services, leisure and hospitality and other service industries all experienced annual gains of more than 4 percent.

The only industries to show a decline — information, mining and logging –– shed 400 jobs, the Idaho Department of Labor said Friday.

Among Idaho’s 44 counties, 26 had unemployment rates above the state rate. Clark and Madison counties experienced the lowest rates in the state at 2.3 percent and 2.6 percent respectively. Adams County had the highest rate at 9.9 percent.

The Idaho Falls metropolitan statistical area reported the lowest unemployment rate of all metros at 3.1 percent, down from 3.6 percent one year earlier. The Coeur d’Alene metropolitan area experienced the highest unemployment rate in the state at 4.7 percent, down from 5 percent the previous March. The Boise metropolitan area came in at 3.6 percent, down from 4.2 percent the previous March.

Total employment for Idaho grew by more than 400 to 775,900 as the number of unemployed Idahoans dropped by 500 to 30,560. This is the ninth consecutive month that total unemployment decreased. Idaho’s seasonally adjusted labor force dropped by 100 in March to 806,480 marking the first labor force decline since January 2013, breaking a 37-month streak of gains.

Nationally, the unemployment rate increased slightly from 4.9 percent to 5 percent — only the second change in the past six months.

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