Idaho employers increased payrolls slightly in February, driving the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate down a tenth of a point to 8 percent, the seventh straight monthly decline and the lowest rate since September 2009.
Goods producers added jobs during a month when they normally scale back while the increase in service sector jobs fell just short of the average over the last five years.
Businesses hired over 11,000 new workers for the third month in a row, exceeding February hires by 2,000 to 3,000 for the previous three Februarys, and nearly half of the new hires were for new jobs created since January.
Another 2,100 more workers were on the job in February, pushing total employment to nearly 715,000 and marking the eighth month in a row employment has risen.
Nez Perce County reported 6.3 percent unemployment for February; Clearwater County, 12.4 percent; Idaho County, 10.1 percent; Latah County, 6.7 percent; and Lewis County, 4.7 percent.
Just over 35,000 Idaho workers were paid $35.3 million dollars in state and federal unemployment benefits during February, a 20 percent decline from February 2010. (Idaho Department of Labor)