Idaho jobless rate jumps to 26-year high

Idaho’s unemployment rate jumped to 8.8 percent in July, and to 10.3 percent in Coeur d’Alene, according to state Labor Department statistics released today.

The state rate was the highest in 26 years.

Department analysts attributed the increase from June’s 8.4 percent and last July’s 4.9 percent to an expansion of the labor force as more seek work. Some are spouses trying to supplement family income, others are workers whose unemployment benefits have expired.

Only 1,400 of 4,600 new jobseekers found work in July. The state has lost more than 46,000 jobs in the last year.

The unemployment rate for all of Kootenai County was 9.3 percent. The rate in Benewah County rose to 11.2 percent, in Bonner County 9.7 percent, and in Boundary County 11.4 percent.

At 12.4 percent, Shoshone County’s rate was the highest in the state.

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