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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Housing activity boosts March hiring in Idaho

Idaho’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent in March, thanks in part to increased housing market activity. The construction industry added 1,000 new jobs and the financial industry hired 200 people, according to the Idaho Department of Labor. Overall, 5,400 Idaho workers found jobs last month, continuing an expansion in the labor market that has pushed state unemployment rates to seven years lows. Addition hiring was done in the trucking, trade, and the hospitality industry, including restaurants, bars and hotels. The state’s unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in March 2014. The Conference Board, a Washington, D.C., business think tank, recently estimated that the state is near full employment, with only one unemployed Idaho worker for every online job listing. Kootenai County, North Idaho’s most populous, also saw employment gains over the past year, with the unemployment rate dropping to 4.7 percent in March, down from 6.2 percent in March 2014. In other counties, Boundary County had a 5.1 percent unemployment rate; Benewah, 5.6 percent; Bonner, 5.7 percent; and Shoshone, 7.5 percent, which was the state’s highest unemployment rate.
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