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Idaho records lowest unemployment rate on record

Idaho’s September unemployment rate fell to its lowest point on record, 2.8 percent.

The Idaho Department of Labor said the decrease was due to an increase in the number of Idahoans working and a continued drop in the number of unemployed. Total employment grew by 4,154 workers in September, the largest monthly increase since July of 1993.

The total number of people with jobs is 800,629.

Education and health services jobs increased by 1,400 while construction jobs decreased by 1,300.

Natural resource-related jobs met seasonal expectations with no net gain or loss.

An increase in the number of people 16 years or older or looking for work helped drive the state’s labor force participation rate up slightly to 63.2 percent.

The department said an 11 percent drop in total online job postings was an indication of increased hiring.

Idaho’s labor force statistics continue to reflect the state’s economic growth. Employment was up 13,187 over September of 2016.

Non farm job growth has been steady for nearly 8 years. Non-farm payroll jobs were up 2.1 percent over the year with a net gain of 15,000 jobs.

Unemployment insurance benefit payments were down more than 26 percent, from $1.2 million a year ago to $891,000 for September 2017. The number of people claiming benefits decreased by 26 percent.

Madison County boasted the lowest unemployment rate in the state, at 1.7 percent. The Pocatello area saw an over-the-year 2.8 percent increase, or 1,000 jobs, in non-farm employment.

Nationally, unemployment dropped to 4.2 percent in September — down two-tenths of a percent from August — while the labor force increased by 575,000. The nation’s labor force participation rate, at 63.1 percent, changed little over the month and has shown little movement over the year.

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