Idaho's Jobless Rate Drops As The Workforce Shrinks

Sep 19, 2014

Workers talk with potential employers at a Meridian job fair.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's August jobless rate ticked down a tenth of a percent after a slight increase in July. The Idaho Department of Labor reports the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.7 percent declined because 600 workers left the labor force, the second-straight month the workforce has shrunk.

Most workers hired in August filled vacant jobs. The Labor Department reports new hires were lower than August 2013.

"Idaho’s labor force participation rate for August – the percentage of adults working or actively looking for work – dropped another tenth of a percentage point to 63.5 percent," a Labor Department spokesman writes in a press release. "It was over 64 percent a year ago."

"While the August job gains were almost evenly split between goods production and services, Idaho’s economy has been steadily shifting to services. In August 2007 as the expansion was peaking, 19.2 percent of Idaho’s nonfarm jobs were in goods production, which pays an average of $12,000 a year more than services. In August 2014, 15.8 percent of the jobs were in goods production." - Labor Department

Idaho's lowest August jobless rate was in Franklin County at 2.5 percent. The highest, at 9.1 percent, was recorded in Clearwater County.

Idaho was one of 15 states that saw a decline in its August unemployment rate. The national unemployment rate was 6.1 percent.

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