Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped from 7 percent to 6.8 percent in November. That’s the lowest Idaho’s jobless rate has been in three and a half years.
The Idaho Department of Labor says most Idaho counties, 36 of 44, posted jobless rate declines from October to November.
Total employment was up last month, with more than 722,000 Idahoans employed. But more Idahoans continue to drop out of the labor force. The Labor Department reports at least 52,400 Idahoans are jobless.
“More than 300 workers dropped out of the labor force in November. It was the sixth straight month the state’s workforce has declined, essentially returning to the level it was in November 2011.
Since spring Idaho has lost almost 7,500 workers, the largest continuous erosion of the labor force since 9,100 dropped out over eight months at the end of 2008 and the start of 2009. The only other contraction worse than the current one was 8,700 lost over nine months during 1980.” – Idaho Department of Labor
The department says it paid $13.4 million last month to 10,800 Idahoans per week in unemployment insurance benefits. That’s down almost 20 percent from November of 2011. About 6,800 Idahoans per week received $8.3 million in federal extended unemployment benefits in November. Those federal benefits are set to end next week unless Congress authorizes an extension.
The Idaho Department of Labor says since 2007, federal extended benefits have been paid to more than 150,000 Idahoans, totaling $800 million.
Nationally, 45 states plus the District of Columbia watched jobless rates decline from October to November. The national jobless rate is at 7.7 percent.