At Least A Quarter Of Men Report Not Working In 9 Idaho Counties

Dec 12, 2014

The New York Times map shows several counties where the percentage of men not working has reached a quarter of the total population.
Credit New York Times

The New York Times reports there are nine counties in Idaho where at least 25 percent of men are not working. The report draws on data about men aged 25 to 54. The Times says they averaged data from U.S. Census Bureau American Community Surveys taken between 2009 and 2013.

Clearwater County had the worst rate in the state. Fifty percent of men in that county report not working. The margin of error in that county is estimated at 8 percent. 

Other counties with rates at or above 25 percent include: Clearwater, Boundary, Butte, Lemhi, Payette, Adams, Idaho, Shoshone, and Bonner.

In Ada County, 17 percent of working-age men report they're out of a job. 

According to the Times:

[I]t’s vastly more common today than it was decades ago for prime-age men not to be working. Across the country, 16 percent of such men are not working, be they officially unemployed or outside of the labor force — disabled, discouraged, retired, in school or taking care of family. That number has more than tripled since 1968. -

Last month, KBSX reported that while Idaho's jobless rate is at its lowest level in six years, the number of people participating in the labor force has also declined.

Idaho Labor Department researcher Bob Uhlenkott said "the labor force participation rate is truly a huge issue right now."

The participation rate is how many of the people who are old enough to have a job, actually have one or are looking for one. Idaho’s is at 63 percent, the lowest it’s been in nearly 40 years. So, more than a third of Idaho adults aren’t working, and aren’t looking for work. Uhlenkott says more people retiring can account for some of the low participation. And some of it, he says, could be lack of confidence in the job market.

"Folks still may not think there’s a job out there that’s worth for them to go after.”

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