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Idaho’s February unemployment rate drops to 2.8%

Jernej Furman / CC BY 2.0

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) - Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.8% in February – down from January’s rate of 3%.

The number of Idahoans employed or looking for work grew by 2,936 people (0.3%) to 927,314 – a larger over-the-month increase than any month during 2021.

Labor force participation increased by 0.1% between January and February to 61.9% – the first increase since October 2021. Idaho’s peak participation rate reached 71.4% in September 1998.

Total employment grew by 4,115 (0.5%) to 901,083 while total unemployment dropped from January by 1,179 (-4.3%) to 26,231.

Idaho’s nonfarm jobs matched seasonal expectations in February, with only a slight growth of 400 jobs to a total of 814,000. Industry sectors with the greatest over-the-month gains include natural resources (2.3%); construction (1.8%); retail trade (1.3%); nondurable goods manufacturing (0.7%); transportation, warehousing and utilities (0.6%); financial activities (0.5%); and professional and business services (0.3%).

Industries with the greatest job declines include state government (-4.9%) and health care and social services (-1.2%).

Idaho Falls experienced the fastest over-the-month nonfarm job gains among the state’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), increasing by 0.7%. Coeur d'Alene and Twin Falls saw the second-highest job growth at 0.6% each, followed by Boise at 0.1%. Pocatello and Lewiston both experienced decreases of -2.3% and -0.7%, respectively.

Year over Year

Idaho’s labor force was up 1.9% from February 2021, an increase of 17,305 people.

The number of unemployed Idahoans dropped 27.8% (-10,176) from February 2021, while the number of employed rose 3.1% (27,381).

Idaho’s nonfarm job total increased by 4% (31,100) over February 2021 and was 5.1% above its February 2020 pre-pandemic peak.

Every major industry sector showed over-the-year job increases in February except for private educational services (-2.2%) and federal government (-1.5%). Leisure and hospitality – the most adversely affected industry during the pandemic – was 7.7% above where it was one year ago.

All six of Idaho’s MSAs saw year-over-year nonfarm job gains. Pocatello saw the largest increase at 4.9%, followed by Boise and Coeur d’Alene at 4.5%, Idaho Falls at 4.2%, Twin Falls at 4% and Lewiston at 2.5%.

National Comparisons

Nationally, unemployment decreased from 4% in January to 3.8% in February, with the number of unemployed down 315,822 to 6.2 million. The national unemployment rate was 0.3 percentage points above its pre-pandemic rate of 3.5% in February 2020. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 678,000 (0.5%) to 150.4 million.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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