Bringing the Economy Home

Idaho’s Labor Force Grows, Unemployment Rate Ticks Up

For the first time since June 2011, Idaho’s unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth of a percentage point in May.

The Idaho Department of Labor says the workforce grew last month, contributing to an increase in the jobless rate from 6.1 percent in April to 6.2 percent in May.

“May’s labor force expansion ended a four-month decline of 4,000 to October 2011 levels even though Idaho’s economy was beginning to add jobs at a decent rate. The labor force decline raised analyst’s questions about the state’s ability to staff a sustained job expansion, but an influx of new workers – the largest one-month gain since November 2011 – may indicate renewed optimism about Idaho’s economic recovery and its ability to generate jobs.” – Idaho Dept. of Labor

The Labor Department says all sectors except private education reported a hiring increase from April to May.

“Overall private sector jobs were running nearly 3 percent ahead of May 2012 while government, where the impact of recent federal budget cuts was beginning to be felt, was just two-tenths of a percentage point ahead of May 2012. Total jobs were 2.3 percent higher than a year earlier but still 3 percent below the pre-recession peak and unlikely to make up that ground before 2015.” – Idaho Dept. of Labor

Seven-thousand more Idahoans were employed last month compared to May 2012.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports Idaho was one of 17 states that posted jobless rate increases in May. The national unemployment rate is 7.6 percent.


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