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Idaho’s October unemployment rate drops to 2.8%

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BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) - Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.8% in October, down 0.1 percentage points from September.

The state’s labor force grew by 1,470 (0.2%) people to 907,622 - the second largest over-the-month increase this year. The labor force participation rate remained at 62.4%.

Total employment grew by 2,270 to 882,543, up 0.3%, while total unemployment dropped 3.2% (-800) to 25,079.

Idaho’s nonfarm payroll jobs were 1,300 below seasonal expectations at 785,700 in October, down 0.2% from 787,000 in September. Industries with fewer jobs than expected included information (-3.8%); accommodation and food services (-2.5%); transportation, warehouse and utilities (-1.1%); federal government (-0.8%); professional and business services (-0.4%); retail trade (-0.2%); and financial activities (-0.2%).

Job numbers exceeded seasonal expectations in private educational services (2.3%); arts, entertainment and recreation (1.4%); manufacturing (1.0%); wholesale trade (0.9%); state government (0.6%); and construction (0.5%).

Lewiston led the state’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in over-the-month nonfarm job growth with a 0.3% increase followed by Boise at 0.1%. Idaho Falls and Pocatello experienced no measurable growth, while Coeur d'Alene saw a loss of 0.1%.

Year over Year

The state’s labor force showed an increase from October 2020, up 0.5% (4,328).

Total unemployment dropped 42.2% (18,279) from October 2020, with the number of working Idahoans up 2.6% (22,607).

Idaho’s nonfarm jobs total increased by 2.6% (20,000) over October 2020 and was 1.6% above its February 2020 pre-pandemic peak.

Every major industry sector showed over-the-year increases in October except for manufacturing, which decreased by 0.9%. Leisure and hospitality – the most adversely affected industry during the pandemic – was 7.2% above where it was one year ago.

All five of Idaho’s MSAs saw year-over-year nonfarm job gains. Pocatello showed the greatest increase at 5%, followed by Lewiston (3.6%), Coeur d'Alene (2.7%), Idaho Falls (2.7%) and Boise (2.6%).

National Comparisons

Nationally, the unemployment rate saw a solid drop from 4.8% in September to 4.6% in October, with the number of unemployed down 317,924 to 7.4 million. The nation’s labor force decreased by 104,000 to 161.5 million. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 531,000 to 148.3 million.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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