Idaho’s unemployment rate stayed below 9 percent for July and remains under the 9.5 percent national average.
The Idaho Department of Labor reports that 2,300 workers lost their jobs last month, and that Idaho’s jobless rate stayed at 8.8 percent. Unemployment inched up slightly, but the seasonally-adjusted rate stayed the same as in June when rounded to the nearest tenth of a percent.
The unemployment rate is higher than it was a year ago, when 8.2 percent of Idaho’s labor force was out of work.
The labor department said that businesses are still wary about hiring new workers. “July’s economic activity continued to indicate the economy was returning to seasonal patterns abandoned during the crush of the recession but still falling short of meeting or exceeding those marks for job creation,” the department said in a news release.
Jobless Idahoans who had their federal unemployment benefits expire at the end of May are now once again receiving weekly payments, according to Bob Fick, the department’s spokesman. Last month, Congress voted to extend the weekly payments until the end of November. More than 11,000 Idahoans lost their payments, and Fick said approximately 7,000 are now receiving federal unemployment benefits.