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Idaho’s labor force declines again

Idaho’s labor force continued to shrink in April dropping the state’s work force to its lowest level since October 2011.

The Idaho Department of Labor reports another 1,300 people left the work force in April dropping the total labor market to under 771,000.

April’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held stable at 6.1 percent. Employers generated 17,000 new jobs since the beginning of the year. At the same time, the ranks of the unemployed dropped another 800 from March.

Department analysts speculate the gap between increased jobs and decreased unemployment indicates a number of self-employed workers secured more traditional jobs covered by the state’s unemployment insurance system.

They said it all points to an exodus of younger workers to other states and an influx of retired workers and those finishing out their working careers.

Analysts said that if the trend persists, it could push Idaho’s employment base further towards service-sector jobs which pay $10,000 a year less than jobs in goods production.

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