Bringing the Economy Home

Idaho’s Unemployment Rate Falls, But National Focus Is On Fragility

Spencer Platt / Getty Images News

Job seekers attended a career fair in New York this week.

Thirty states including Idaho saw their unemployment rates fall in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Idaho’s rate dipped below 8 percent for the first time in more than two years, landing at 7.9 percent.  Furthermore, just three states still have unemployment rates in the double digits, a striking improvement from two years ago.  “In early 2010, 18 states and D.C. had double digit unemployment rates,” the Calculated Risk blog notes.

Despite that improvement, lead economic stories in today’s news focus on dimmed hopes that a recovery is underway.   For example, The Wall Street Journal points to national layoff, home sales, and manufacturing numbers, all of which have wavered in recent weeks:

Surveys from Federal Reserve Banks in Philadelphia and New York this week showed manufacturing in those regions slowed in April. Economists said a likely recession in Europe and slowing growth in China could be hurting demand for U.S. products overseas.

The weak reports in manufacturing, housing and jobs have revived fears that the economy could repeat the pattern of the past two years, when growth picked up early in the year only to slow sharply in the spring. — The Wall Street Journal

The New York Times also highlights anxiety that the nascent economic recovery won’t hold.

In the United States and elsewhere, high oil prices have sapped spending power. American employers remain skittish about hiring new workers, and new claims for unemployment insurance have risen. And stocks have declined. — The New York Times

While Boise has shown stronger signs of a turnaround than most of the nation’s metro areas, economic analysts’ watchword for the week appears to be “fragility.”


About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »