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Idaho job data has bright spot

Employment in most North Idaho counties fell last month, with Boundary County the notable exception.

The Idaho Department of Labor on Friday released a county-by-county breakdown of employment statistics, having announced earlier in the month a statewide rise in joblessness to 9.1 percent from 9 percent in September.

For the five northern counties, the October unemployment rates were: Benewah, 15.5 percent; Bonner, 13.7 percent; Boundary, 14.9 percent; Kootenai, 10.8 percent; and Shoshone, 14.9 percent.

Boundary County added almost 200 jobs between September and October, increased its work force by nearly the same total, reduced the number without jobs to 766 from 775, and lowered its unemployment rate from 15.6 percent in September.

Department labor economist Kathryn Tacke attributed the progress to a strengthening timber industry, but added that the October results may not accurately reflect the job market in the Bonners Ferry area.

Unemployment in Coeur d’Alene rose to 12.3 percent from 11.4 percent in September. The rate for Post Falls fell to 12.7 percent from 13.2 percent.

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