Jobless rate drops for fifth straight month

BOISE — Stronger than expected job growth in December drove the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate down another tenth of a percent to 8.4 percent. December was the fifth straight month Idaho's unemployment rate has fallen, hitting its lowest level since September 2009.
December also saw a one percent year-over-year increase in jobs with 13,000 more people working than in the previous year—the largest total since March 2009 and the largest year-over-year growth in total employment since mid-2007 before the recession officially began.
The final three months of 2011 posted the strongest year-over-year job growth since the final year of the expansion in 2007, leaving 2011 with an average annual job total 1,300 higher than 2010. It is the first year since 2007 that the average number of jobs did not decline.