With 19,000 more Idahoans at work than this time last year, the Idaho Department of Labor reports that the Gem State had a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in July of 7.5 percent, it's lowest level in three years.
Unemployment insurance benefit payments totaled more than $18 million in July. More than 10,700 Idaho workers received $10.1 million in regular benefits while another 8,300 received $8.1 million in federal extended benefits.
Since the recession began, 15,000 workers have exhausted all benefits without finding jobs.
Ada County registered a 6.4 percent unemployment rate in July, compared to 7.9 a year ago. The Boise metro area, including most of the Treasure Valley, had a 7.1 percent jobless rate in July.
Thirty-eight of Idaho's 44 counties and all five metropolitan areas posted lower jobless rates in July than in June, and every county but Lewis had a lower rate than a year ago. Oneida County had the lowest rate at 4.2 percent, and nine counties had rates less than 6 percent, an increase from six in June. A year ago, only four counties had rates below 6 percent.
Adams County registered Idaho's highest unemployment rate in July at 17.3 percent. Valley County was second-highest at 14.6 percent.