Panhandle unemployment dipped slightly in June, while the Idaho rate edged up slightly.
Unemployment in the five northern counties dropped to 8.3 percent from 8.6 percent in May. The rates are seasonally adjusted, meaning that the usual spike in employment due to hiring in the tourism industry is factored in the rates.
Kootenai County’s rate dropped one tenth of a point to 7.7 percent. A year ago, that rate was 7.5 percent.
Hiring and work involving the production of the movie Dante’s Peak helped push down Shoshone County’s unemployment to 7.1 percent from 8.7 percent.
The state rate rose to 5.2 percent from 5.1 because the usual summer job growth wasn’t high enough to offset the adjustment factors, according to the Idaho Department of Labor.
Job growth remains strong in Idaho, the department said, but is slower than it was in previous years.
Unemployment rates for other Panhandle counties in June compared with May were: Benewah, up to 11.6 percent from 10.3; Bonner, down to 8.9 percent from 9.7 percent; Boundary, up to 11.3 percent from 10.8 percent.