Custer County’s unemployment rate declined again in December 2019, dipping to 3.3 percent, compared to 3.9 percent in November and 3.5 percent in December 2018, according to the latest jobless report from the Idaho Department of Labor.
That 3.3 percent translates to 74 people in the county’s 2,226-member workforce without jobs.
Butte County held steady with a 2.5 percent unemployment rate in December, the same as November and a bit lower than 2.7 recorded in December 2018. In Lemhi County, the rate increased to 5 percent in December 2019, up from 4.7 percent in November and almost a full point higher than the 4.1 percent recorded in December 2018.
Four Idaho counties reflected very low unemployment rates in December. Madison had the lowest rate, 1.7 percent. Coming in at 2 percent were Franklin, Fremont, Oneida and Teton. The highest rate — 5.9 percent — was recorded in Shoshone County. Other counties with the highest rates were Lewis at 5.8 percent, Adams and Clearwater, both at 5.4 percent and Lemhi at 5 percent.
Idaho’s statewide seasonally adjusted rate of 2.9 percent remained unchanged for the sixth straight month, the labor department reported. An additional 2,329 people made themselves available for work in December in Idaho, pushing the seasonally adjusted labor force up to 889,092, the jobless report states. The number of unemployed people decreased by 110 to 25,769. The larger workforce was an increase of 3 percent compared to December 2018. Idaho’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs grew by 21,600 in December, the second-highest growth rate in the country.
Unemployment insurance benefit payments in December decreased by 5.3 percent, from a weekly average of $1.99 million in December 2018 to $1.88 million in December 2019. The number of claimants in 2019 dropped by 9.2 percent to 5,738 from 6,370 the prior year.
The nation’s December unemployment rate stood at 3.5 percent, the same as November. The jobless numbers reflect the number of people who currently are not employed but are available to work and are looking for a job. The labor force includes those same people, plus people who are employed.