While it was the lowest rate since May 2009, it came with a fourth straight month of a shrinking labor force and the first August-September labor force decline since the 1986 recession.
Employers across the state expanded September payrolls from August at a higher rate than the past five years and at a slightly faster pace than they did during the expansion from 2003 through 2007.
Another 1,200 workers were on the job in September, pushing total employment to 720,600 – its highest level in four years – and breaking a two-month employment slide. Total nonfarm jobs were 1.2 percent above September 2011, marking the fifth straight month that jobs have totaled at least a percentage point higher than a year earlier.
Except for construction and information, all major industrial sectors saw larger payrolls this fall than a year ago.
Nez Perce County reported 6.1 percent unemployment in September; Latah County was at 6.3 percent; Clearwater County 13.3 percent; Idaho County 9.7 percent; and Lewis County 5.5 percent.
Lewiston’s 5.9 percent rate tied Meridian for the lowest rate among the state’s 11 largest cities. (Idaho Department of Labor)