Idaho's unemployment rate fell for the second straight month in May, but it's not all good news – employers are hiring at rates below the seasonal norm, and certain key sectors are way off – manufacturing payrolls are stuck at 1991 levels, construction employment is at 1994 levels and May's total nonfarm jobs in the state were 0.3 percent lower than May of 2010. “Wages have been rising modestly in recent months due to employers restoring hours cut during the recession or giving raises to workers who took on more responsibilities as payrolls shrank,” writes Bob Fick of the Idaho Department of Labor. Idaho's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May was down two-tenths of a point from April to 9.4 percent. Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate rose two-tenths – but it also was at 9.4 percent. You can read Fick's full report here.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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