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Idaho boasts top job growth rate in 2016

UPDATED: Mon., March 13, 2017

Idaho saw 4 percent job growth last year, giving it the fastest rate in the nation, the Idaho Department of Labor said Monday.

The state added 27,500 jobs between January 2016 and January 2017, with all major industry sectors experiencing gains, the agency reported.

“Part of it is that people are choosing to relocate to Idaho for jobs. The inertia of job growth has just been phenomenal for the past two years,” said Craig Shaul, a research analyst supervisor for the Department of Labor. “Actually we’re just doing really well overall in most industries.”

Construction led the way with 4,500 new jobs, which was up 11.3 percent. Financial activities were next with 2,000 new jobs, up 6 percent.

Boise had the strongest job growth for the year, with 14,400 more jobs, an increase of 4.8 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady in January at 3.6 percent.

The state added 4,900 new jobs between December and January, giving it the second-highest growth rate in the nation, labor officials said. Construction jobs again led the way – up 1,100, or 2.6 percent.

The January and February jobs report for Idaho counties is scheduled to be released March 24.

There were more than 19,200 online postings for Idaho jobs in January, according to the Conference Board, the nonprofit business research organization. Of those postings, 4,600 were classified by department analysts as hard to fill.

Health care-related jobs – physicians, surgeons, psychiatrists, occupational and physical therapists and support positions – accounted for 28.5 percent of the online postings. By volume, registered nurses and truck drivers maintained the first and second spots for the largest number of hard-to-fill jobs.

Unemployment insurance benefit payments were up nearly 21 percent in 2016. The number of claimants grew by 11 percent, from a weekly average of 10,300 a year ago to 11,400.

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