Unemployment benefits reduce the risk of food insecurity

A 2020 study on government benefits and food insecurity during the coronavirus crisis has found that the $600 per week federal unemployment insurance was linked to a 4.4 percentage point reduction in food insecurity. The benefits helped people who recently lost their jobs continue to put food on their tables.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho’s unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a percent to 2.8% from September to October, making the state’s unemployment rate tied for fourth-best in the nation.

The Idaho Department of Labor also said Friday that the state’s labor force grew by nearly 1,500 to more than 907,000.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Idaho trails only Nebraska, Utah and Oklahoma in having the lowest unemployment rate. The agency lists South Dakota and Vermont as also having unemployment rates at 2.8%.

“It’s not surprising at all that the top 10 states for lowest unemployment rates – including Idaho – are led by Republican governors," Republican Gov. Brad Little said in a statement. “Our unrelenting focus on keeping taxes low, governing responsibly, and structuring regulations so they support, not hinder, business have led to prosperity and opportunity for the people we serve.”

Idaho officials said job numbers exceeded expectations in private educational services, arts, entertainment and recreation, manufacturing and state government.

They also said total employment grew by 2,270 to 882,543, and the number of those unemployed dropped by 800 to 25,079.

The labor force participation rate, comprised of those 16 years and older working or looking for work, remained unchanged at 62.4%.

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