Bringing the Economy Home

Idaho’s May Jobless Rate Goes Up, Ends 9 Straight Months Of Decline

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At least 61,000 Idahoans were out of work in May.

Mirroring the national jobless rate increase, Idaho’s unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point last month, ending a nine-month decline in the economic measure.

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate ticked up to 7.8 percent in May, from 7.7 percent in April.

Idaho is among 18 states where the jobless rate went up in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Idaho Department of Labor reports hiring slowed in the service sector.  That can have a big impact on the rate, since four of every five Idaho jobs fall into this category.

“Idaho employers increased their payrolls 1 percent in May, but that was short of the five-year average April-May increase of 1.3 percent. While hiring in trade and information exceeded the average, all other service sectors fell short by enough to offset slightly more hiring than normal in goods production including construction.” – Idaho Dept. of Labor

Idaho’s jobless rate has been on the decline since its post-recession high of 8.9 percent in July 2011.  At that time, at least 68,000 Idahoans were out of work.  As of last month, there were at least 61,000 unemployed Idahoans.

“New hires, which include replacement workers as well as additional workers, fell slightly from April but remained the strongest May since 2008. The May report from the Conference Board, the Washington, D.C.-based business think tank, estimated fewer than three unemployed workers for every posted job in Idaho, the first time since 2008 that the ratio has been under three for two straight months.” – Idaho Dept. of Labor

The department’s report says of Idaho’s 44 counties, only two — Franklin and Camas — were saw their jobless rates go down in May.

“A dozen primarily rural counties posted May unemployment rates in double digits, up from nine in April, and both Caldwell and Coeur d’Alene moved back over the 10 percent plateau after dropping below double-digits in April.” – Idaho Dept. of Labor

You can see how Idaho’s jobless rate has changed over the last few years and compare it to the national rate and your local county rate at our Work In Progress news app.  There, you can also tell us your story of losing a job, finding a new one, or struggling in between.


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