Monthly Archives: March 2020

Labor Phone Lines Overloaded with Calls


For Immediate Release: March 30, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102

People are asked to visit Labor website for answers; file for benefits online

Idaho is one of several states across the nation where the surge of newly laid-off workers is overwhelming state unemployment phone systems. 

Laid-off workers who need to file for benefits – or have questions about unemployment insurance – should file online or visit the agency website instead of calling the department. 

“You do not have to call the department to file a claim. Everything can be done online and most questions can be answered by reviewing the posted material,” said Idaho Department of Labor director Jani Revier. “Our call volume is high and most callers are receiving a busy signal and will not get through.”

Jammed phone lines also prevent the department’s claim specialists from calling out to resolve issues with individual claims. When the department notifies a claimant there is an issue with their claim, the individual needs to wait for an agency claims specialist to call.  Continue reading

Idaho Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Increased 1,200%


For Immediate Release: March 26, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 841-5509 or Craig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201

BOISE – Idaho workers laid off due to the coronavirus filed 13,341 new claims for unemployment insurance benefits during the week of March 15-21, 2020, up 12,310 for a 1,200 percent increase over the previous week.

“Our priority is to get benefits out to those who are eligible as quickly as possible and help Idaho employers who are hiring find the staff they need as soon as possible,” said Idaho Department of Labor Director Jani Revier.

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Respuesta a Preguntas Frecuentes del Empleador

Respuestas a Preguntas Frecuentes del Empleador

Las preguntas y respuestas nuevas tienen la fecha.

Si necesita información importante para sus empleados por favor visite las publicaciones Datos del desempleo y Cómo Solicitar Beneficios

Actualizado el 20 de mayo: ¿Están cubiertos los contratistas independientes o trabajadores auto-empleados (que trabajan por cuenta propia)?

Si. El Departamento de trabajo de Idaho está haciendo pagos bajo el programa de asistencia de desempleo por pandemia. Encuentre más detalles acerca de los beneficios en nuestra página web Programa de Asistencia de Desempleo por Pandemia

Nuevo 20 de mayo: ¿Qué puedo hacer si mis empleados se rehúsan a regresar a trabajar? Continue reading

Respuestas a Preguntas Frecuentes de Solicitantes de Seguro de Desempleo

Nota: Todos los programas federales de asistencia de desempleo del Acta CARES, incluyendo PUA, serán descontinuados en la semana que termina el 19 de junio de 2021. Hay más información disponible aquí

Vea estas  Respuestas a preguntas frecuentes de seguro de desempleo  para información de como solicitar y como navegar el sistema.


Preguntas relacionadas con COVID-19

EL seguro de desempleo en general

Las preguntas y respuestas que han sido actualizadas tendrán fecha escrita.


Pregunta: Escuché que la Asistencia de Desempleo por Pandemia (PUA, por sus siglas en inglés) está terminándose.

Respuesta: Si, es correcto. Los programas de seguro de desempleo y las extensiones financiadas por el Acta Federal CARES expiran el 26 de diciembre del 2020, incluyendo la Asistencia de Desempleo por Pandemia (PUA) y La Compensación de Emergencia de Desempleo por Pandemia (PEUC por sus siglas en inglés). Seleccione aquí para información adicional acerca de la expiración de estos programas.

NUEVO el 15 de abril: Recibí mi pago de estímulo de $1,200. ¿Lo reporto en mi solicitud de desempleo o mi reporte semanal?

No. El pago de estímulo no está enlazado con el seguro de desempleo y no se reporta para propósito de seguro de desempleo

Actualizado el 16 de mayo: ¿Están cubiertos los contratistas independientes o trabajadores auto-empleados?

Si. Encuentre los detalles acerca del beneficio en la página web Programa de Asistencia de Desempleo por Pandemia

Actualizado el 16 de abril: Escuche que voy a recibir $600 más por semana. ¿Cuándo comienza?

Encontrará más información en la página web del departamento de trabajo en Compensación de Desempleo Federal por Pandemia

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Labor Offices Closed to the Public Until Further Notice

This news release was updated March 30, 2020, to reflect Gov. Brad Little’s latest executive orders and proclamation regarding the coronavirus.



For Immediate Release: March 18, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, 208-332-3570 x 2102

Idahoans can still file claims online for unemployment insurance

In response to Gov. Brad Little’s state-wide stay-home order and extreme emergency declaration to slow the spread of coronavirus, the Idaho Department of Labor offices will be closed to the public until further notice.

The closure was effective starting Thursday, March 19, however the public can still access the agency’s services online and through the phone.

“We are still open for business and available to serve our customers,” said Idaho Department of Labor Director Jani Revier. “These closures simply allow us to do our part to help slow the transmission of COVID 19.”

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Employer FAQs about Unemployment Insurance and COVID-19

Note: All federal CARES Act unemployment assistance programs, including PUA will discontinued week ending June 19, 2021. Additional information is available here.
FAQs for Employers

Updated and new FAQs are noted with the date.

Looking for helpful information for your employees? Please visit our Unemployment Facts and How to File for Benefits publications.

UPDATED May 20: Are independent contractors or self-employed workers covered?

Yes. Labor is now making payments for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Find details about the benefit on our Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program web page.

NEW May 12, 2021: What do I do if my employees refuse to return to work?

If a worker is receiving unemployment, they have an obligation to accept suitable work. If they refuse to accept work, the Labor Department should review the situation. Please email us details including when the employee was asked to return to work and how the offer was made at Please do not include the employee’s Social Security number to help prevent identity theft.

Will workers qualify for unemployment benefits if the coronavirus (COVID-19) causes an employer to temporarily or permanently shut down operations?

Unemployment insurance (UI) benefits are available to individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own. If an employer shuts down operations and no work is available or reduces an individual’s hours due to a drop in business, we would consider this a lay off due to lack of work and the individual may be eligible for benefits. Anyone can apply for benefits, and we will evaluate the individual merits. If there is a situation not covered by these FAQs, the individual may want to file a claim and we will evaluate the circumstances to determine eligibility. Individuals do not need to call us before filing the claim. Click here for more information.

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Claimant FAQs about Unemployment Insurance and COVID-19

FAQs for Claimants. Updated or new FAQs are noted with the date.

See these unemployment insurance FAQs for how to file and navigate the system.

Note: All federal CARES Act unemployment assistance programs, including PUA were discontinued June 19, 2021. Additional information is available here.


What is the CARES Act?

The federal CARES Act programs provide economic assistance to unemployed workers. The CARES Act consists of programs for an additional $300 per week, individuals who are not eligible for regular benefits, and extended benefits.

Did the CARES Act programs expire?

Yes. But Congress passed legislation to extend the CARES Act programs that affect unemployment benefits. Former President Trump signed it into law on Dec. 20, 2020.

Will I receive an additional $300 per week?

Yes. The Federal Pandemic Compensation (FPUC) program will add an additional $300 to a weekly benefit payment, effective 12/27/2020.

How do I apply for the additional $300 per week?

No additional action is required on your part. If you submit your weekly certification report and are eligible for a full or partial unemployment payment, you will receive the additional $300.

Are independent contractors or self-employed workers covered?

Yes. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance provides benefits to self-employed individuals who became unemployed because of COVID-19 and are not eligible for regular benefits.

Continue reading

Idaho’s January Unemployment Rate Down Slightly to 2.8 Percent


For Immediate Release: March 16, 2020
Information Contact: Craig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201 or Karen Jarboe Singletary (208) 332-3570 ext. 3215

Second Fastest in the Nation for Over-the-Year Job Growth

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 2.8 percent – down slightly from December and the 26th consecutive month at or below 3 percent following the benchmarking of 2019 estimates.

An additional 1,539 people made themselves available for work in January, pushing Idaho’s seasonally adjusted labor force up to 890,197. The number of unemployed decreased by 638 to 24,751. Total employment grew by 2,177 to 865,446.

January’s labor force participation rate – the percentage of people 16 years and older with jobs or looking for work – remained unchanged from December at 64.2 percent.

Over the year, January’s statewide labor force was up 19,580 (2.2 percent), employment was up 20,412 (2.4 percent) and there were 832 (3.3 percent) fewer unemployed persons. Seasonally-adjusted nonfarm jobs were up 2.5 percent from January 2019, the second highest growth in the nation representing a gain of 18,700 jobs. Other services (+5.7 percent), professional and business services (+4.5 percent) and construction (+4.4 percent) showed the largest percentage gains while manufacturing was the only industry experiencing an over-the-year decrease, totalling 1,200 jobs.

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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in February 2020

Information provided in these news updates is from professional sources, news releases, weekly and daily newspapers, television and other media.

Northern Idaho
North Central Idaho
Southwestern Idaho
South Central Idaho
Eastern Idaho


NORTHERN IDAHO – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone Counties

Kootenai County

  • The Coeur d’Alene Tribe received an Indian Housing Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, worth just over $1 million. The grant will support affordable housing development in tribal communities. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Two manufacturers in Kootenai County – Advanced Thermoplastics Composites and Continuous Composites – are participating in a 10-week intensive training program with the US Air Force. The program provides special training for small manufacturers (with under 500 employers) developing structures and systems for unmanned aircraft. Source: Journal of Business
  • Six businesses in downtown Coeur d’Alene have been displaced by a building fire which led to a roof collapse. The structure fire effected Emerge Art Gallery, Cole Taylor Salon, Schmidty’s Burgers, Heart City Tattoo, Farmers Insurance Agency, and 720 Haberdashery. Source: Spokesman Review


    • Trails End Brewery in Coeur d’Alene.
    • Beauty Mafia in Coeur d’Alene.
    • Lave Vita Bella in Hayden.
    • Shiki Hibachi Sushi in Coeur d’Alene.
    • El Ranchero in Post Falls.
    • The Paint Buzz in Rathdrum., regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

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Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism Seeking Commission Applicants


For Immediate Release: March 3, 2020
Information Contact: Renee Bade, (208) 332-3578 ext. 4061

Serve Idaho, the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism, is seeking applicants to serve a three-year term as a commissioner. The mission of Serve Idaho is “to inspire and recognize volunteers and empower communities through service and AmeriCorps to solve Idaho’s unmet needs.”

The commission is seeking the following applicants:

  • A representative of business.
  • A representative from a national service program.
  • An individual with expertise in the educational, training and development needs of youth, particularly disadvantaged youth.
  • A representative with experience in promoting the involvement of older adults (age 55 and older) in service and volunteerism.
  • A youth between the ages of 16 and 25 who is a participant in or supervisor of a service program for school-age youth, a campus-based program or national service program.

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