Idaho Sees Low Unemployment Rate


By Rachel Holt

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) Idaho's March unemployment rate hit a five and a half year low.

Unemployment fell one and a third percentage points in the last year.

This is the eighth straight monthly decline.

Employees at the Idaho Department of Labor are simultaneously cheering... and scratching their heads at how to stay busy.

"We’ve seen quite a decrease in the amount of people coming in. We also do weekly workshops, and we've seen the participants go quite down. We've actually taken it down to one day a week instead of three," explains Jordyn Neerdaels, senior workforce consultant.

In Twin Falls, the current unemployment rate is 4.8 percent, which is lower than the state’s average of 5.2 percent and can be attributed to a number of things.

"Having Chobani in, that’s been huge, but not only Chobani but companies that are moving here because they've put Twin Falls on the map. Getting this food processing has been really beneficial to the Twin Falls area," says Jan Roeser, regional economist.

The Idaho unemployment rate remains below the national average of 6.7 for the twelfth year in a row.

However, there is a major concern for the Gem State.

"In job growth we are in the top third, but as far as wages, we are at the bottom. There is one state, Mississippi, that's lower than us, so we have a low minimum age; we have issues. It's 7.25, but our surrounding states across the board are all higher than that. So when we are looking at attracting workers, it's kind of tough,” Roeser explains.

In southern Idaho, new businesses bring the promise of a strong 2014.

"We’re going to have some good wages in 2014-2015 because the construction industry pays good wages," Roeser points out.

A positive outlook for job hunting in the upcoming year.

Construction showed the strongest job growth between February and March.

20 percent of the new jobs generated in the last month were in goods production.

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