Idaho unemployment rate drops

BOISE, Idaho - For the first time in three and a half years, Idaho's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to under seven percent in November.  

The Idaho Department of Labor reports the 6.8 percent rate indicates more than a thousand idled workers found new jobs.  It is the lowest unemployment rate since March 2009.

Total employment was up 1,500 workers to over 722,200.  That is the highest total since mid 2008 and 14 thousand ahead of a year ago.

But, for the sixth straight month, the state's overall work force declined.  More than 300 workers dropped out of the labor force in November.

According to the Department of Labor, the long-termed unemployed will lose their unemployment benefits at the end of December when federal benefit extensions are terminated.

The agency said the 14 thousand new hires reported in November were almost exclusively intended to fill vacancies created by firings, retirements, or other reasons.

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