Friday, January 29, 2016
Idaho fastest growing state in over-the-year job growth; December unemployment rate unchanged at 3.9%
Idaho’s 4.4 percent over-the-year growth of seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in December was the nation’s fastest–the third consecutive month Idaho has held this distinction.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in December–unchanged from November due to a labor force increase of 2,600 workers. December’s labor force increase was the largest December increase since 2004 and pushed the state’s total labor force above 806,000.
Clearwater County’s unemployment rate crept up between November and December, from 8% to 8.4%. The December rate for 2015 was less than the December 2014 rate of 12.1%.
Idaho County’s December unemployment rate dropped to 5.2%, down from November’s rate of 5.7%. Last December’s rate was 8.8%.
The December unemployment rate for Lewis County jumped to 6.4%, up from November’s rate of 5.3%. Lewis County’s December 2015 was higher than the 2014 rate of 5.3%.
In Nez Perce County, there was a slight decrease in the November to December unemployment rate, from 3.6% to 3.3%. December’s rate was also lower than last year’s rate of 5.4%.
Idaho’s labor force participation rate—the percentage of people 16 years and older with jobs or looking for work—increased to 64.3 percent after November’s rate was revised down to 64.1 percent.
Idaho’s nonfarm job growth of 4.4 percent was the largest gain in Idaho since 2005, with a seasonally adjusted increase of 29,100 jobs from December 2014 to December 2015. The greatest gains were in construction, manufacturing and real estate. Mining and logging, information, and state government were the only sectors to show declines.
Over the month, Idaho nonfarm payrolls grew by a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent between November and December due to strong showings in manufacturing and wholesale trade.
With December’s total employment at 774,543 and only 31,460 unemployed people looking for work, there were only 1.2 unemployed individuals per job listing, according to The Conference Board.
Nationally, the unemployment rate also remained unchanged at 5.0 percent. This was the third consecutive month the rate has held flat for the nation.
Annually, unemployment insurance benefit payments were down from December 2014 by 16 percent, from $3.241 million a year ago to $2.736 million in December 2015, while the number of weeks compensated dropped 20 percent from a weekly average of 11,471 to a weekly average of 9,159.
Twenty-seven Idaho counties reported unemployment rates above the state average, with the highest of 8.5 percent in Shoshone County. The remaining 17 counties match or were below the state rate; the lowest rate of 2.6 percent was reported in Madison County.
Among the metropolitan statistical areas, Coeur d’Alene had the highest rate with 4.8 percent and Idaho Falls the lowest with 3.2 percent.
For more information on Idaho’s unemployment picture visit lmi.Idaho.gov.