Idaho's jobless rate fell again in March - the eighth straight decline - to bring the Gem State's unemployment rate below 8 percent for the first time in two-and-a-half years. Ada County's jobless rate fell even further - down four-tenths of a percent - to 6.9 percent. The Boise metro area (including Meridian, Nampa and Caldwell) registered a 7.7 percent unemployment rate in March.
According to the Idaho Department of Labor, 2,500 more workers were on the job in March compared to February. March marked the first time since 2007 that March hiring exceeded 13,000. Retailers, transportation companies, manufacturers and financial sector employers all maintained payrolls ahead of five-year averages.
Eight rural Idaho counties still posted unemployment rates in double digits. Adams County continued to have the highest rate at 12.8 percent. Other double-digit jobless rates were registered in Benewah, Boundary, Custer, Gem, Idaho, Shoshone and Valley counties.
The lowest unemployment rate was 4.3 percent in Franklin and Oneida counties. Seven more counties had rates under 6 percent: Bear Lake, Butte, Clark, Gooding, Lewis, Madison and Owyhee.