Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell in December to 6.6 percent, the lowest rate in nearly four years and two-tenths of a percentage down from November, the Idaho Department of Labor reports. This time, the improved numbers weren’t just due to people giving up on looking for work: The state’s labor force expanded for the first time since last May. Labor reports that the December figures reflect 300 new entrants to the workforce and 1,500 unemployed Idahoans who found jobs. You can read their full announcement here.
The Conference Board estimates there are still slightly more than two workers for every job posted in Idaho, but that’s way down from nearly five for every job opening during the worst of the recession in late 2009. Labor reports that the number of counties with double-digit jobless rates fell to five in December, all in northern and north-central Idaho, down from six in November and 13 in December of 2011.
The five were Adams, 15.4%; Clearwater, 12.2%; Valley, 11.9%; Benewah, 10.8%; and Shoshone, 10.6%. The county with the lowest unemployment rate in December was Oneida County, at 4.0 percent; followed by Bear Lake, 4.2%; and Franklin, 4.3%. Ada County was at 5.6 percent; Canyon, 7.3%; and Kootenai, 7.4%.