Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Unemployment rate continues to drop

Blaine County rate falls to 5.5 percent in April


Idaho employers maintained hiring at normal levels in April, but another 1,300 people left the state labor force, driving both employment and unemployment down to keep the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stable at 6.1 percent.
In Blaine County, the unemployment rate in April was 5.5 percent, with an estimated 667 people unemployed out of a workforce of 12,070. That figure is down from 6.5 percent in April 2012.
    April saw the fourth straight monthly decline in the state’s labor force—a combination of those working and those actively seeking work—dropping the total labor force to under 771,000, the lowest level since October 2011.
    Total employment was down by another 500 from March and 1,500 from January, despite employers’ generating 17,000 new jobs since the beginning of the year. At the same time, while the ranks of the unemployed dropped another 800 from March, 2,100 from January and 10,000 from April 2012, total employment was only 7,000 higher than last year,
    According to the Idaho Department of Labor, new hires in April at more than 16,000 were back to pre-recession levels for only the second time since the downturn began, and more than a third of those hires were for new jobs.  

April saw the fourth straight monthly decline in the state’s labor force.

    But the persisting decline in the labor force, coupled with the recent drop in total employment, reinforced statistics pointing to an exodus of young workers to other states and an influx of retired workers and those finishing out their working careers. Should this population shift persist, it could aggravate Idaho’s structural shift toward service-sector jobs, which has accelerated since the end of the 2001 recession. That shift from 82 percent to more than 85 percent of all jobs in the past decade is economically significant because service-sector jobs on average pay $10,000 a year less than do production jobs.
Hiring decreases in manufacturing and professional and business services were offset by better-than-normal hiring by retailers, private educational institutions, hotels and restaurants.
Idaho’s April unemployment rate matched a downwardly revised March rate, falling steadily from 8.8 percent over the past 29 months. April’s rate was 1.2 percentage points below last year’s 7.3 percent and is the 139th month in a row—over 11 and a half years—that Idaho’s jobless rate has been below the nation’s.
    And while the number of unemployed has dropped by 10,000 from last year, total employment was only 7,000 higher than a year earlier.

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2014 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.