Idaho unemployment rate drops to 3% as pandemic fades

Gov. Brad Little
Gov. Brad Little

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho’s unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a percent to 3% from April to May as the coronavirus pandemic fades, state officials said Friday.

The Idaho Department of Labor said that the total number of people unemployed has dropped nearly 63% compared to a year ago.

“Idaho’s unemployment rate continues to drop!” Republican Gov. Brad Little said on Twitter. “Idahoans are getting back to work and our economy is getting even better by the day!”

The state’s labor force grew a tenth of a percent to 901,494 as people continue moving to Idaho.

Of those, 874,143 are employed, boosting total employment by two-tenths of a percent. Just over 27,000 people are looking for work.

The labor force participation rate, comprised of those 16 years and older working or looking for work, remained unchanged at 62.7%.

Idaho’s nonfarm jobs from a year ago have increased by nearly 64,000, up about 9%. Officials say leisure and hospitality jobs, hit hard by the pandemic, are up 37% from a year ago. Those jobs have also increased 4.1% from February 2020, which was before the pandemic started forcing business shutdowns in the state.

The national unemployment rate dropped three-tenths of a percent in May, falling to 5.8%.