Today the U.S. Department of Labor adjusted Idaho’s forecasted August unemployment rate upward to 8.9 percent, a seasonally adjusted figure that’s the highest rate since June of 1983, when Idaho joblessness hit 9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. “Total employment at 686,400 was at its lowest level since February 2005,” the Idaho Department of Labor reported. “In just the last year, Idaho lost over 48,000 jobs.”
The high rate means workers who’ve exhausted their federal and state unemployment benefits will qualify for some additional payments, for another three to seven weeks after regular benefits have run out. Bob Fick, Idaho Department of Labor spokesman, said roughly 150 Idahoans a week are now exhausting their unemployment benefits.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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