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More Idahoans find employment

The Idaho Department of Labor has released new unemployment numbers. Nearly 3,800 Idahoans found work in December alone, which hasn’t happened in a one-month time period since 1994.

Economist Will Jensen said this may be a sign of economic recovery from the recession.

“The employment growth that we experienced was above and beyond what we normally would see,” he said.

Jensen also said the state’s 1 percent unemployment decrease to 5.7 percent may be due to the increase of seasonal work, which usually doesn’t last after the first of the year.

“Those trends should be smoothed out so that we get that real change, whether it’s better than normal or worse than normal,” said Jensen.

Nevertheless, Jensen said the preliminary estimate isn’t the department’s sole focus.

“The thing we really want to focus on now is not just having low unemployment rates, but quality jobs that pay good livable wages and making sure the labor force has the skills required to obtain those better jobs with higher paying wages,” he said.

At the county level, unemployment rates are also looking better. Bonneville County is at 4.6 percent. Although a majority of Idaho’s counties are seeing a decrease, 10 out of Idaho’s 44 counties saw a slight increase in their unemployment rate.

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