The unemployment rate in Idaho fell to 7.1 percent in September, the lowest rate since May 2009 and down from 7.4 percent in August.
But the state also has seen its labor force shrink four straight months, including the first August-September decline since the 1986 recession, the Idaho Department of Labor said Friday.
Employers in Idaho expanded payrolls last month at a higher rate than in the past five years, and at a slightly faster pace than during the expansion of 2003-07, the state reported.
Another 1,200 workers were on the job in September, pushing total employment to 720,600 – its highest level in four years – and breaking a two-month employment slide.
The jobless rate last month fell to 9 percent in Kootenai County; it was 11.5 percent a year ago. The rate hit 8.1 percent in Coeur d’Alene last month, down from 10.7 percent in September 2011.
Elsewhere in North Idaho, the September rate was 12.4 percent in Benewah County, 10.3 percent in Bonner County, 10.2 percent in Boundary County, and 12.1 percent in Shoshone County.