Reasonable weather and steady growth in most business sectors helped keep Kootenai County unemployment steady at 6.5 percent in May.
Rain during the early part of May hampered some agriculture activities, which nudged Idaho’s unemployment rate up to 5.1 percent from 5 percent in April.
Some Panhandle counties suffered from the waning wood products sector, said Kathryn Tacke, labor analyst for the Idaho Department of Employment.
Boundary County, which experienced short-term layoffs at mills there, saw its unemployment rate jump to 8.1 percent from 6.2 percent.
“The problems in the wood products area are beginning to take their toll,” Tacke said.
Slower construction activity statewide also contributed to the state’s higher rate, according to the employment department in Boise. But analysts predict construction activity will increase.
Selected rates for other Panhandle counties in May compared to April: Benewah, down to 8.1 percent from 8.7 percent; Bonner, up to 7.8 percent from 7.6 percent; Shoshone down to 8.5 percent from 8.6 percent.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Graphic: North Idaho unemployment