Bringing the Economy Home

Idaho’s Jobless Rate Dips Below 8 Percent

Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

Job seekers mingle at a career fair in Meridian, Idaho.

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March dropped below 8 percent to 7.9 percent. The Idaho Department of Labor reports that’s the first time the state’s jobless rate has dipped below 8 percent in more than two years.  Still, almost 62,000 Idahoans are out of work.

The data show Idaho’s jobless rate has been on the decline for eight straight months.

“Over 2,500 more workers were on the job in March than in February as employers across the state hired more than 13,500 people to replace retirees and others as well as fill new jobs. It was the first time since 2007 that March hiring has exceeded 13,000 although it was still about 2,000 below the average during the expansion from 2003 through 2007.” – Idaho Dept. of Labor

The labor department says manufacturers and contractors added more jobs between February and March than the average over the last five years.  Still, employment in both sectors is well below its peak.

“Retailers, transportation companies and employers in the financial sector also maintained payrolls ahead of the five-year average while the rate of hiring slipped slightly in professional and business services and health care and education – two sectors that have grown steadily through and since the recession.” – Idaho Dept. of Labor

Labor officials report Adams County still has the highest jobless rate in the state at 12.8 percent.  The lowest rate is in Franklin County, at 4.3 percent.

The Conference Board, a New York-based business think tank, estimates there were about 3.5 people vying for each available job in Idaho last month.

You can check out the data on a county-by-county level, and compare Idaho’s jobless rate with the national rate at our Work In Progress data app.  Plus, we want to hear from you.  Is this data consistent with whats happening on the ground in your area? Let us know.  Comment below or at the app.


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