For the 14th straight month Idaho, in October, recorded an unemployment rate below 3 percent.
The state’s seasonally adjusted rate of 2.7 percent was unchanged from September, according to the monthly unemployment report from the Idaho Department of Labor. Custer County’s rate held steady, too, at 3.7 percent in October and September. A year ago Custer County’s unemployment rate was slightly higher — 3.9 percent.
Likewise, the state’s labor force, which is the total number of people 16 and older working or looking for work, has remained unchanged since July at 853,444. In Custer County, 79 people in the labor force were unemployed in October, up one from September. Total employment in Custer County last month stood at 2,033.
Statewide the number of people with jobs increased to 830,616 in October, while the number of unemployed people decreased by 454 to 22,828. Compared to October 2017, the Idaho labor force increased by 11,587 people, 1.4 percent.
In neighboring Butte County the unemployment rate remained low — 2.9 percent, the same as in September, but a tenth of a percent higher than October 2017 when it was 2.8 percent.
Lemhi County is on the other end of the scale, registering an October unemployment rate of 4.3 percent, up from 4.2 percent in September but down from 4.8 percent in October 2017.
Four Idaho counties continue to register high unemployment rates, at or above 5 percent. Those are Clearwater at 6.5 percent, Shoshone at 5.4 percent, Lewis at 5.1 percent and Adams at 5 percent.
Madison County continues to boast the state’s lowest jobless rate — 1.8 percent. No other county is below 2 percent, but three counties are at 2.1 percent — Bonneville, Jefferson and Oneida.
Unemployment insurance benefits in Idaho dropped in October by 11.4 percent, from a weekly average of $999,000 a year ago to $886,000 last month. The number of claimants decreased by 13 percent to 2,800 from a weekly October 2017 average of 3,200, the labor department reported.
October’s national unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was unchanged from September.