State Politics

Idaho unemployment steady at 3.8 percent

State unemployment in August held steady from the previous month at 3.8 percent, remaining more than one point below the national rate.

August was the sixth month this year that Idaho ranked first in the nation for year-over-year job growth, according to the state Labor Department. The 3.3 percent employment bump over August 2015 equals an additional 22,000 jobs across all industries. Construction grew fastest at 9.2 percent.

Monthly growth from July to August was a scant 100 jobs. The state workforce grew by nearly 700, to 812,400, and total employment rose by 500 to 781,400. The number of unemployed Idahoans rose by 100 to 31,000.

The Labor Department cited outside statistics on the number of hard-to-fill jobs in the state, based on vacancy rates and job listings older than 90 days. Health care jobs account for more than 23 percent of those hard-to-fill jobs, covering physicians, surgeons, psychiatrists and occupational and physical therapists.

Of the state’s 44 counties, 21 had unemployment rates above the state average. Madison and Jerome counties had the lowest rates, at 2.5 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively. Lewis County had the highest rate at 7.7 percent.

Among distinct stastistical areas, the Idaho Falls area had the lowest rate at 3.2 percent, down from 3.4 percent a year ago. The Coeur d’Alene area had the highest at 4.7 percent, down from 5 percent last year.

More details are available on the Labor Department website.

State unemployment

Seasonally adjusted

Aug-16

Jul-16

Aug-15

Labor Force

812,400

811,700

799,200

Unemployed

31,000

30,800

33,000

Rate

3.8%

3.8%

4.1%

Total employed

781,400

780,900

677,200

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