While the state’s unemployment rate has been rising month over month, it has come down significantly over the past year.
BOISE, Idaho — More people in Idaho were looking for work in July compared to June, but more people also found jobs. That caused the jobless rate to drop slightly month-over-month, but a look at the numbers beyond that shows job growth continues in Idaho.
The latest monthly report from the Idaho Department of Labor shows that the total number of Idahoans employed or seeking work rose to 952,500 in July. Of this total workforce, 24,526 were looking for work. The total workforce rose by 3,938 people from June – of those counted in the increase, 3,364 were employed and 574 were unemployed and in search.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 2.6% in July, up a tenth of a percentage point from June.
One reason for the higher unemployment rate: More people in Idaho were actively looking for work. This is indicated by a monthly increase in labor force participation – from 62.5% in June to 62.6% in July. The participation rate is based on the non-institutional civilian population aged 16 or over working or actively seeking work. The remaining 37.4% are not looking for work for a number of reasons, including staying home to raise children, retirement, schooling, or discouragement about looking for a job.
The non-farm industry sectors with the largest month-over-month gains include health care and social services (2.8%); federal government (1.6%); private education services (1.5%); arts, entertainment and recreation (1.3%); durable goods manufacturing (1.2%); information (1.2%); professional and business services (0.9%); transportation, storage and utilities (0.6%); and local authorities (0.5%).
Industries that saw declines in July included other services (-2.7%); accommodation and catering (0.8%); wholesale trade (-0.6%); and financial activities (-0.3%).
Five of Idaho’s six metropolitan statistical areas saw monthly growth in nonfarm payrolls. The Boise area saw the largest increase, at 0.6%. Twin Falls saw no noticeable month-over-month change in July, the Labor Department said.
Year-over-year figures show that the unemployment rate fell by one percentage point from July 2021. Additionally, the total labor force increased by 33,593 over the course of the year. Over the past year, the number of unemployed Idahoans decreased by 8,578 (-26.3%) and employed Idahoans increased by 42,351 (4.8%).
To paint a picture of job postings versus job seekers, the Idaho Department of Labor cites Help Wanted Online, which had 63,010 online job postings in Idaho in July, equivalent to to 2.6 job openings for every unemployed Idaho looking for work.
Nationally, the unemployment rate fell to 3.5% in July. It was 3.6% in June. The number of unemployed U.S. residents fell by 166,228 to 5.7 million, and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 528,000 to 152.5 million, just above pre-levels. the pandemic.
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