Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.6 percent in November, down slightly from October and continuing at or below 3 percent for the 15th consecutive month, the state Department of Labor reported.

The state’s labor force—the number of people 16 and older working or looking for work—was 854,243, increasing by 0.1 percent and essentially unchanged since July.

Total employment increased by 1,198 to 831,851, while the number of unemployed people decreased by 433 to 22,392.

Idaho’s labor-force participation declined one-tenth of a percentage point to 63.4 percent, as Idaho’s total population continued to outpace labor force growth.

Over the year, the statewide labor force in November was up 12,160 (1.4 percent), total employment was up by 14,900 (1.8 percent) and there were 2,740 (10.9 percent) fewer unemployed people.

According to the Conference Board, a Washington, D.C., think tank, there were 22,925 online Idaho job openings in November, compared with 25,358 a year ago.

Year over year, the state continued to see strong job growth. Total nonfarm jobs grew by 1.8 percent for a total of 13,200 jobs. Every industry sector experienced job growth except for information, which had 600 fewer jobs this November compared with the previous year, and leisure and hospitality, down 800 jobs from last year. The fastest movers were the natural resources and professional and business services sectors, with jobs increasing by 5.9 percent, closely followed by the manufacturing sector, with 4.7 percent growth.

Annually, unemployment insurance benefit payments were down 19.7 percent from a weekly average of $1,708,000 one year ago to $1,371,000 for November 2018. The number of claimants decreased by 19.8 percent to 4,500 from a weekly average of 5,700 a year ago.

The national unemployment rate for November was 3.7 percent, unchanged since September. The number of unemployed people decreased by 100,000 to 6 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed people declined by 0.4 percent and 641,000, respectively.

December 2018 labor force and nonfarm payroll data for Idaho will be released on Jan. 18.

For details on Idaho’s labor market, visit lmi.Idaho.gov.

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