More Idahoans left the workforce in October, allowing the state's unemployment rate to edge down again.
The jobless rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 7 percent, the lowest in 3½ years, the Idaho Department of Labor said.
It was the fifth straight month the labor force declined. About 1,100 workers left the workforce. More than 7,000 people have left since May.
One bright spot is food manufacturing, where employment grew more than 3 percent from September, pushing total employment in the typically high-paying manufacturing sector up nearly a full percentage point. Good weather through much of the month kept seasonal construction layoffs to a minimum, while retailers and government at all levels held steady.
The unemployment rate has dropped nearly 2 percentage points since the post-recession high of 8.9 percent in July 2011. It remains nearly a full percentage point below the national rate, which rose a tenth to 7.9 percent in October.