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Jobless Numbers Take a Significant Plunge

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By Aimee Burnett

Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) The jobless rate is improving across the board.

Idaho’s unemployment rate dropped from July to August for the first time since 1980.

Economists are attributing it to a decrease in the labor force.

"I think retirement is taking its toll on our workforce a little bit. We're going to see a little bit more of that over the next few years as the Baby Boomers continue to retire," said Jan Roeser, Regional Economist, Idaho Department of Labor.

Fewer people seeking jobs in the month of August was enough to drive the state's unemployment rate down a tenth of a percentage point. The Magic Valley saw an even bigger decrease."

"In Twin Falls we're at 6.4%, we were at 6.7% last month, so we had a three tenths of a percent drop," said Roeser.

That's a sizable drop for our area.

Last year at the same time the jobless rate was at 8%.

"So, really about a point and a half higher a year ago. So, you're looking at 1,500 people that have been hired or are working," said Roeser.

The good news...this trend is likely to continue.

Roeser foresees a continued decline in the jobless numbers over the next year or so.

"Certainly getting down around what economists call full employment, right around four or five percent is really feasible in our area," said Roeser.

Pre–recession, some counties had 2.5 - 3 % unemployment.

Roeser doesn't expect to see numbers like that for another ten years.

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.8 % last month.

It's the first time in nearly four years it's fallen below 8%.

873,000 people found work according to a government survey...the biggest jump since 2003.


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