Idaho unemployment rate, and its share of people working, dropped in February

newsroom@idahostatesman.comMarch 21, 2014 

Idaho's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a percentage point in February to 5.3 percent — the lowest rate in more than five years and a 20 percent decline from February 2013.

That followed a two-tenths-of-a-point drop in January, and it contrasted the national unemployment rate's slight increase in February to 6.7 percent.

But the labor force participation rate — the share of Idahoans 16 and older either working or looking for work — fell a tenth of a point to 63.7 percent. It had slipped below 64 percent last October, for the first time in over 30 years.

The declining share of people in Idaho's workforce is "likely a reflection of the influx of retirees," the department said in a press release. The national participation rate is 63 percent.

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