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Idaho unemployment drops to 5.5%, but COVID-19 cases surge

The unemployment rate for October fell from September's 6.1%.

BOISE, Idaho — State officials say Idaho's unemployment rate has dropped to 5.5% as about 5,400 nonfarm workers regained jobs in October. 

The Idaho Department of Labor said Friday that about 864,000 Idaho residents are employed and that about 50,000 are looking for work as the surging coronavirus pandemic continues hampering the economy. 

The unemployment rate for October fell from September's 6.1%.

Officials say seven industry sectors saw some job gains, led by leisure and hospitality with an increase of 4.9%. Nonfarm jobs are at about 763,000. 

Officials say that's the first time since last spring's pandemic-related job losses that nonfarm jobs equaled or exceeded levels from the previous year.