Idaho's job growth rate was the fastest growing in the country from January 2016 to January 2017, according to the Idaho Department of Labor. 

Idaho gained 27,500 jobs during the year, a growth rate of 4 percent.

All of the state's major industry sectors experienced job gains, the labor department reports:

  • Construction led the way with 4,500 new jobs, up 11.3 percent.
  • Financial activities followed with 2,000 new jobs, up 6 percent.
  • The "other services" sector gained 1,300 jobs, up 5.5 percent.
  • The remaining sectors experienced growth rates above 2 percent.

January’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 3.6 percent, the same rate reported for December.

About 2,400 people entered the workforce, pushing Idaho’s January seasonally adjusted labor force number to 823,900.

Total employment increased by 2,600 to 794,100, and the number of unemployed dropped by 200 to 29,800.

The state’s labor force participation rate — the percentage of people 16 years and older with jobs or looking for work — climbed to 64 percent, up slightly from December’s 63.9 percent.

There were more than 19,200 online postings for Idaho jobs in January, according to the Conference Board. Of those postings, 4,600 were classified by Department of Labor analysts as hard to fill.

By volume, registered nurses and truck drivers maintained the first and second spots for the largest number of hard-to-fill jobs.

Annually, unemployment insurance benefit payments were up nearly 21 percent, from $3.1 million a year ago to $3.7 million for January. The number of claimants grew by 11 percent from a weekly average of 10,300 a year ago to 11,400. Department analysts attributed the larger-than-normal increase to the record-breaking snowfall and this winter’s deep freeze.

Idaho’s county rates for January and February will be included in the February employment release scheduled for March 24.

Among Idaho’s metropolitan statistical areas, Boise experienced the strongest seasonally adjusted year-over-year growth of 14,400 jobs, or 4.8 percent. Month to month, the Idaho Falls MSA was the fastest growing 500 new jobs, an 0.8 percent growth.

Source: Idaho Department of Labor

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