BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Department of Labor says the state's unemployment rate remained stable at 6.1 percent in April, in part because of a continuing decline in the number of people seeking work.

April saw the fourth consecutive monthly decline in the state's labor force, which is a combination of those working and those actively seeking work. The labor force fell to under 771,000 people in April, the lowest level since October 2011. Total employment is down by 1,500 people since January, despite employers generating 17,000 new jobs.

Analysts speculate the gap likely reflects a number of formerly self-employed workers securing more traditional jobs. The agency said Friday that hiring decreases in manufacturing and professional and business services were offset by better than normal hiring by retailers, private educational institutions, hotels and restaurants.