Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 2.9 percent in October for the fourth consecutive month.

According to the Idaho Department of Labor, an additional 2,438 people made themselves available for work in October, pushing Idaho’s seasonally adjusted labor force up to 884,545. The number of unemployed increased by 112 to 25,736. Total employment grew by 2,326 to 858,809.

Idaho’s labor force participation rate—the percentage of people 16 or older working or looking for work—remained unchanged at 64.1 percent.

Over the year, October’s statewide labor force was up 22,051 (2.6 percent), total employment was up 19,965 (2.4 percent) and 2,086 more people were unemployed. Seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs were up 2.2 percent from October 2018, a gain of 16,400 jobs. Professional and business services (up 6.4 percent) and financial activities (up 4.1 percent) showed the largest percentage gains, while information (down 7.9 percent) and natural resources (down 2.8 percent) showed the largest percentage losses.

Online job listings reached 28,019 in October, down slightly from 28,100 a year ago, according to the Conference Board, a Washington, D.C., think tank. Of those, 9,464 openings were classified as hard to fill by department analysts, up from 8,828 a year ago. Hard-to-fill positions are posted for 90 days or more. Health care jobs, including physicians, surgeons, psychiatrists, occupational and physical therapists and support positions, represent roughly 21 percent of all hard-to-fill online openings.

Nationally, unemployment increased one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.6 percent in October. Total unemployed increased by 86,000 from September for a total of 5.86 million people looking for work. One year earlier, the national unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, and the number of unemployed reached 6 million.

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