Idaho Unemployment Rate At Record Low

Oct 20, 2017

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Idaho’s unemployment rate has plummeted seven straight months to a record low in September. The state’s unemployment rate is 2.8 percent – the lowest it’s been since the statistic started being tracked in 1976.

Robert Kabel says the numbers “beg the question: Who is hiring all these workers?”

He’s a research analyst at the Idaho Department of Labor. Kabel says schools and hospitals took on the most new employees with 1,400 in September. Service jobs – occupations like mechanics and hair stylists – added 300 workers. And the government got an additional 1,100 employees.

There’s another question on Kabel’s mind.

“‘How low can it go?’” he muses. “[That’s] a question we’re always asking ourselves. Sometimes, when the rate is low that is not a good sign, however, in this case, we’re seeing employment increasing which means people are finding work.”

With the holidays closing in, Kabel says he’s eagerly watching to see what employers do in terms of seasonal hiring.

“We’ve had a few large employers such as UPS and Walmart announce that they are not going to bring on a lot of season workers,” says Kabel. “I’m not sure if other Idaho employers are going to follow suit.”

The new figures highlighting just how tight the labor market is come right before Boise’s Bogus Basin ski area is set to hire 500 seasonal workers.

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