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Kootenai County unemployment moves up compared with last year

by David Cole
| November 20, 2010 8:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - Unemployment in Kootenai County inched upward in October to 10.8 percent, which is a half percentage point higher than a year earlier, the latest Idaho Department of Labor statistics showed Friday.

The number also is higher than it was a month ago, when unemployment stood at 10.7 percent, the state reported. The labor force was at 71,221, with 7,725 counted as unemployed.

Kootenai County wasn't alone in Idaho, but it was nearly two percentage points higher than the state rate.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates rose in two dozen of Idaho's counties last month, reflecting the tenth of a percentage point increase the statewide jobless rate posted for October.

Higher unemployment in the state's four largest metropolitan areas - Coeur d'Alene, Boise, Idaho Falls and Pocatello - drove the increase. More than 69,000 people were out of work in the state, and 47,000 of them were in the four metro areas.

Unemployment across Idaho rose to 9.1 percent in October.

The five resource-dependent Panhandle counties continued to have the highest regional rate at 12 percent, unchanged from September, while eastern and southeastern Idaho had the lowest rate at 7.6 percent.

Shoshone County saw its unemployment rate nearly go up a full percentage point compared with a year earlier. It reached 14.9 percent for October, compared with 14.1 percent in 2009. It's actually down from a revised 15.8 percent in September.

Benewah County was down in October, compared with the previous year. The county's unemployment rate reached 17 percent in October 2009, dropping to 15.5 percent last month. It's down slightly from September, when it came in at 15.6 percent.

Thirty-two of the state's 44 counties had unemployment rates in October that were higher than October 2009, the state said in a news release Friday.

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