Published: January 31, 2023 | Updated: January 30, 2023

Unemployment rate dropped slightly in December

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.9% in December, edging down from 3% in November.

December’s labor force – workers who are employed or unemployed but looking for work – increased by 587 people (0.1%) to 963,957, the smallest increase since the previous December’s decline of 100 (-0.01%).

With the labor force growing at a slower pace than the civilian population, Idaho’s labor force participation decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 62.4%.

Total employment increased by 1,246 (0.1%) to 936,001 as unemployment decreased by 659 (-2.3%) to 27,956.

Idaho’s nonfarm jobs increased by 1,800 to 829,300 in December. Industry sectors with the greatest over-the-month gains include natural resources (2.3%); private educational services (1.4%); construction (1.3%); financial activities (1.3%); professional and business services (1.1%); health care and social services (0.7%); transportation, warehousing and utilities (0.6%); and wholesale trade (0.6%).

Industries with the greatest job declines in December were arts, entertainment and recreation (-3.5%); federal government (-2.9%); state government (-2.5%); information (-2.3%); durable goods manufacturing (-1.2%); and other services (-0.8%).

Five of Idaho’s six Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) saw over-the-month nonfarm job increases in December. Boise saw the largest increase at 0.7%, followed by Idaho Falls (0.6%), Coeur d’Alene (0.4%), Twin Falls (0.4%) and Lewiston (0.3%). Pocatello experienced a decrease of 0.5%.

Year Over Year

Idaho’s unemployment rate was down 0.2 percentage points from December 2021. The labor force was up 4.6%, an increase of 42,231 people.

The number of unemployed Idahoans dropped 3.1% (-909), while the number of employed rose 4.8% (43,140).

Idaho’s total nonfarm jobs increased by 2.8% (22,700). Every major industry sector showed over-the-year job gains except for other services (-6.8%).

All of Idaho’s MSAs saw year-over-year nonfarm job gains. Twin Falls saw the greatest increase at 4.1%, followed by Idaho Falls (3.5%), Boise (2.6%), Coeur d’Alene (2.1%,) Pocatello (1.6%) and Lewiston (1.4%).

National Comparisons

Nationally, the unemployment rate decreased from 3.6% in November to 3.5% in December. The number of unemployed decreased by 278,000 to 5.7 million. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 223,000 (0.1%) to 153.7 million, which is above pre-pandemic levels.