Wednesday, September 21, 2011

August jobless rate falls

But many workers drop out of labor force


This August marked the first time in four years that Idaho's current unemployment rate has been lower than the rate for the same month a year earlier.

Last month, Idaho's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point—to 9.2 percent—its lowest level in 15 months. The rate was estimated at 9.2 percent, the lowest since May 2010. Last August, Idaho's unemployment rate was 9.4 percent.

Last month, 70,000 people were out of work around the state, compared to 71,500 at this time last year.


However, the number of workers with jobs declined for the third straight month, dropping below 689,000 for the first time since March. Nearly 2,400 workers dropped out of the labor force in August, the second largest one-month drop on record. The largest was 2,600 in July.

Employers expanded payrolls by just 1,800, matching the gain from July to August in 2010 but far below the pre-recession average of 3,300 new jobs. New hires in August totaled 14,500, above the past two years but well below the pre-recession norm of 18,400. The Conference Board, a business think tank, estimated there were 3.7 unemployed Idaho workers for every job listed in August, the third month in a row that ratio has increased.

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