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More took jobs in February, pushing Idaho's unemployment rate below 3%

Idaho's unemployment rate dropped to 2.8% in February.

BOISE, Idaho — Unemployment in the state of Idaho dropped below the 3-percent mark in February, and the Gem State's total workforce grew, the Idaho Dept. of Labor reported Friday.

The total labor force -- Idahoans employed or actively looking for work -- grew by 2,936 people from January to February, to a total of 927,314. The 0.3% increase was greater than any month-to-month increase than any month during 2021.

Of the 927,314 people in Idaho's labor force, 26,231 were counted as unemployed, for an unemployment rate of 2.8% in February -- down from January's rate of 3%. 903,083 people were employed in Idaho in February. That's 4,115 more people with jobs last month than in January.

The number of Idaho nonfarm jobs grew by 400, to a total of 814,000. The Idaho Falls area experienced the fastest month-to-month job gains (0.7%). Nonfarm jobs declined in the Pocatello and Lewiston areas.

Labor force participation, the percentage of people 16 years or older with a job or actively searching for one, increased to 61.9% from January to February. That was the first increase since October 2021.

Sectors with the greatest month-to-month gains include natural resources; construction; retail trade; nondurable goods manufacturing; transportation, warehousing and utilities; financial activities; and professional and business services.

State government, health care and social services saw the greatest job declines.

Looking at year-to-year changes, Idaho's total labor force increased by 17,305 people from February 2021 to February 2022. The number of unemployed Idahoans dropped by 27.8%, and the number of employed Idahoans rose by 3.1%.

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