Idaho unemployment falls to 7.1 percent
BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Idaho's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell three-tenths of a percentage point to 7.1 percent in September, in part because more people are leaving the workforce.
The Department of Labor said Friday that 720,600 people were employed in September -- the highest level in four years. But more than 6,000 people have left the labor force since May. Just over 55,000 people are unemployed.
Unemployment benefit payments dropped 36 percent compared to September 2011, and the number of claimants averaged 15,000 during the month, down 37 percent from a year ago. Extended benefits for more than 6,000 claimants expire at the end of the year.
Idaho's unemployment rate has fallen from 8.9 percent to 7.1 percent over the past 14 months.
The national unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in September.