Idaho’s unemployment rate reached a record-high 11.5 percent last month due to the effects of the outbreak of the new coronavirus.
That was a jump from a 2.5 percent unemployment rate in March.
The seasonally adjusted statistic means nonfarm payrolls lost 79,500 jobs, according to a news release from the Idaho Department of Labor. The percentage is higher than the state’s December 1982 10.2 percent unemployment rate, as well as the 9.6 percent unemployment rate in June 2009, in the throes of a deep recession.
In April, according to the release, “total employment dropped by 83,842 to 788,816, a decrease of 9.6 percent, while the number of unemployed Idahoans grew by 81,001 — nearly five-fold — to 102,975.”
The labor force participation rate — which is the number of people who have jobs or who are looking for work — dropped from 64.2 percent to 63.9 percent last month, which is the largest over-the-month participation rate decline on record, according to the release.
“Idaho nonfarm payrolls lost 79,500 jobs, down 10.4 percent to 687,700 for April, the first month the state reported fewer than 700,000 total nonfarm jobs since August 2016,” the release reads.
Over the course of the month, four industry sectors saw a 10 percent or more decrease — leisure and hospitality, down 42.3 percent; “other services,” down 24.5 percent; information, down 18.9 percent; and education and health services, down 12.8 percent.
Nationally, the unemployment rate reached 14.7 percent last month — meaning the number of people who are unemployed rose by 15.9 million to 23.1 million in April, according to the release.
A year ago, the unemployment rate nationally was 3.6 percent, with 5.9 million people unemployed.