- Associated Press - Friday, March 21, 2014

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho’s unemployment rate dropped another tenth of a percentage point in February to 5.3 percent, the lowest rate in 5½ years.

That decline came as the participation rate - which is the percentage of the population 16 and older working or actively looking for work - fell a tenth of a percentage point to 63.7 percent.

Idaho’s participation rate dropped below 64 percent last October - the first time in over 30 years - and has been gradually sliding since.

Nationally the unemployment rate ticked up a notch in February to 6.7 percent, while the participation rate held steady at 63 percent.

The state Department of Labor says Idaho’s unemployment rate has been below the national rate for over 12 years.

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