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Idaho’s November unemployment rate down slightly to 2.6 percent

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.6 percent in November, down slightly from October and continuing at or below 3 percent for the 15th consecutive month.

The state’s labor force – the total number of people 16 years of age and older working or looking for work – was 854,243, increasing by 0.1 percent and essentially unchanged since July.

Total employment increased by 1,198 to 831,851, while the number of unemployed people decreased by 433 to 22,392.

Idaho’s labor force participation declined one-tenth of a percentage point to 63.4 percent as Idaho’s total population continued to outpace labor force growth.

During the year, the statewide labor force in November was up 12,160 (1.4 percent), total employment was up by 14,900 (1.8 percent) and there were 2,740 (10.9 percent) fewer unemployed persons.

According to the Conference Board, a Washington, D.C., think tank, there were 22,925 online Idaho job openings in November compared with 25,358 a year ago. Of these postings, 6,235 were classified as hard-to-fill by department analysts, down from 6,770 in November 2017. Hard-to-fill positions are those continuously posted for 90 days or more. Health care occupations, including physicians, surgeons, psychiatrists, occupational and physical therapists and support positions, represented about 18 percent of all hard-to-fill online job openings.

Total nonfarm jobs increased by 400 in November from October, a change of 0.1 percent. The Education and Health Services, Trade and Transportation, Professional and Business Services, Financial Activities and Manufacturing sectors experienced greater-than-expected changes. Leisure and Hospitality, Construction and Information experienced job level declines, while job levels in the Natural Resources, Other Services and Government sectors remained unchanged.

Annually, unemployment insurance benefit payments were down 19.7 percent from a weekly average of $1,708,000 one year ago to $1,371,000 for November 2018. The number of claimants decreased by 19.8 percent to 4,500 from a weekly average of 5,700 a year ago.

The national unemployment rate for November was 3.7 percent, unchanged since September. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 100,000 to 6 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons declined by 0.4 percent and 641,000, respectively. []

For details on Idaho’s labor market, visit


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