Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.5% and nonfarm payrolls regained 5,400 jobs in October, as the state’s economy continued to recover from losses incurred from the coronavirus pandemic, the Idaho Department of Labor reported.

The unemployment rate dropped 0.6% in October after increasing by almost 2% in September to 6.1%, the department reported. October’s rate was 6.3% below April’s historic high of 11.8%.

The number of unemployed Idahoans fell by 5,866 to 50,278, as total employment recovered by 1,021 to 863,917, up 0.1% from September. Idaho’s seasonally adjusted labor force decreased by 4,845 to 914,195. October’s decline put the labor force below its record peak of 919,040 in September, but still close to 19,600 above its pre-pandemic level in March.

The additional 5,400 nonfarm jobs brought October’s total to 763,200, representing an increase of 0.7%, but 8,600 (-1.1%) below Idaho’s February pre-pandemic peak. Seven industry sectors experienced some job gains from September, with the most significant increases in leisure and hospitality (up 4.9%), financial activities (up 1.5%), professional and business services (up 1%) and manufacturing (up 1%).

Year over year, the total number of Idahoans with jobs was up 0.1% (442) while the number of unemployed increased by 24,856 (up 97.8%), the department reported.

Nationally, the unemployment rate declined to 6.9%, with the number of unemployed dropping by 1.8 million to 11.1 million. One year earlier, the national unemployment rate was 3.3% and the number of unemployed was 5.9 million.

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