Blaine County’s April unemployment rate was 2.5 percent, with 12,122 of the workforce of 12,439 holding jobs.

According to the Idaho Department of Labor, that was a bit lower than the statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, which since March dropped slightly to 2.8 percent. April marked the 17th consecutive month at or below 3 percent.

Statewide, an additional 1,768 people made themselves available for work between March and April, pushing Idaho’s seasonally adjusted labor force up to 869,968. The number of unemployed decreased by 234—down nearly 1 percent to 24,683. Total employment grew by 2,002 to 845,285.

Idaho’s labor force participation rate—the percentage of people age 16 or older working or looking for work—increased to 63.9 percent.

Over the year, April’s statewide labor force was up 16,647 (2 percent), total employment was up 16,752 (2 percent) and there were 105 fewer unemployed. Seasonal nonfarm jobs were up 2.5 percent from April 2018, representing a gain of 18,700 jobs. Four of Idaho’s industry sectors experienced job gains of 3 percent or greater: 5.6 percent in other services (1,400 jobs), 4.8 percent in construction (2,300 jobs), 4.7 percent in professional and business services (4,400 jobs) and 3.3 percent in financial activities (1,200 jobs).

Idaho nonfarm jobs increased by 1,900, for a monthly total of 752,600. Financial activities (up 1.1 percent), construction (up 1 percent) and education and health services (up 0.7 percent) showed the largest monthly industry job gains.

Four sectors experienced declines—trade, transportation and utilities, natural resources and manufacturing, and information, shedding a total of 900 jobs.

Unemployment benefit payments were up 11.8 percent, from a weekly average of $1.5 million last year to $1.68 million for April 2019.

Nationally the unemployment rate dropped slightly to 3.6 percent in April, down 387,000 from March, for a total 5.8 million people looking for work. A year earlier, the national unemployment rate was 3.9 percent, and the number of unemployed was 6.3 million.

For details on Idaho’s labor market, visit lmi.Idaho.gov.

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