Idaho’s jobless rate reaches four-year low

January 18, 2013 2:48 p.m. - Updated: 2:49 p.m.

Idaho employers added more than 12,000 jobs during December, helping push the state’s jobless rate to 6.6 percent, the lowest in nearly four years.

The state’s unemployment rate was 6.8 percent in November and 8.3 percent in December 2011.

Using year-long 2012 employment averages, Kootenai County finished with a jobless rate of 8.7 percent, down from 10.3 percent for 2011. The 2012 number is preliminary.

The average annual unemployment rate for the Coeur d’Alene metropolitan statistical area was 8.7 percent last year, versus 10.3 percent in 2011.

Idaho statewide finished with 777,200 jobs in the civilian labor force, up from 770,600 in 2011, according to Idaho’s Department of Labor.

A news release noted Idaho has regained only 18 percent of the 50,000 jobs lost to the recessions, and it is likely the rest will not be regained until 2015.

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