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Idaho’s October unemployment rate edges up to 2.9 percent

More people joining the labor force pushed Idaho’s unemployment rate up to 2.9 percent in October, even as total employment grew.

Nearly 805,000 Idaho residents were working during the month, compared to 23,622 residents looking for a job, the Idaho Department of Labor reported. September’s unemployment rate was 3 percent.

During October, nearly 5,000 people joined the labor force, which is among the largest monthly increases on record, according to the state Department of Labor.

The state added jobs in six industries: construction, trade and transportation, financial activities, education and health, leisure and hospitality and other services. Two sectors shed jobs – government and professional and business services.

Idaho’s nonfarm jobs have shown steady annual growth for nearly eight years since the trough of the Great Recession in January 2010. The state’s nonfarm payroll has shown a net gain of 16,700 jobs since October 2016.

October unemployment rates, by county, are: Kootenai, 3.6 percent; Bonner, 3.8 percent; Boundary, 4.1 percent; Benewah, 4.7 percent; and Shoshone, 6.1 percent.