Idaho’s February unemployment rate down to 3.3%

This table represents year-to-date job growth in Idaho over the same period in 2020. The state has seen a 1.1% increase in employment gains over last year.

BOISE — February’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.3%, down slightly from a revised 3.5% in January. Idaho’s non-farm payrolls edged upward by 1,200, leveling off after January’s gain of 4,500.

Civilian Labor Force

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted labor force remained virtually unchanged in February at 899,796, down from 900,205 in January. The total number of working Idahoans increased by 912 in February to 870,056. 

The number of unemployed Idahoans dropped 4.5% to 29,740. February’s labor force participation rate – the percentage of people 16 years and older with jobs or looking for work – was 62.9%, down slightly from 63.1% in January.

Idaho’s labor force showed year-over-year gains, up 1.1% (+9,752 people) over February 2020. Total unemployment was 6,198 (+26.3%) higher than year-ago levels due to large pandemic-related job losses early in 2020. 

However, the number of Idahoans with jobs was up four-tenths of a percent (+3,554) over February 2020. 

Non-farm Jobs

An additional 1,200 non-farm jobs brought February’s total to 781,300 (+0.2%). Only two industry sectors experienced modest job gains from January – trade, transportation and utilities (+0.7%) and education and health services (+0.8%). Five industry sectors were unchanged from January and four saw over-the-month declines totaling 700 jobs including manufacturing (-0.3%) and government (-0.2%).

Seasonally adjusted non-farm jobs were up by 7,900 over February 2020, representing a year-over-year increase of 1%. Five industries showed job gains, led by construction (+8.2%), financial activities (+6.7%) and trade, transportation and utilities (+5.1%). The four industries hit hardest by pandemic job losses — information (-13.8%), other services (-6.0%), leisure and hospitality (-2.9%) and education and health services (-0.6%) — were below year-ago levels. Government also experienced a year-over-year loss of 1.4%. 

All five of Idaho’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) saw non-farm job gains from January to February. Coeur d’Alene saw the highest increase at 0.6%, followed by Pocatello (+0.5%). 

Year-over-year, the Idaho Falls MSA saw the greatest job gains at 3.8%. Pocatello (+3.2%) and Coeur d’Alene (+2.3%) also experienced substantial gains, while Boise saw a slight increase. Lewiston experienced a 1% job loss over February 2020. 

National Comparisons

Nationally, February’s unemployment rate dropped slightly, from 6.3% to 6.2%, with the number of unemployed decreasing by 158,000 to 10 million. Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 379,000 to 143.0 million for February, but the number of employed nationwide was still 6.2% – or 9.5 million - below its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.

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