Idaho Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Increase 143%


For Immediate Release: April 2, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 x 2102 or Craig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201

Idaho workers laid off due to the coronavirus filed 32,941 initial claims for unemployment insurance between March 22-28, 2020, an increase of 143 percent over the previous week.

The 32,941 claims represent a record number of Idaho initial claims filed during one week and is 2.4 times more than filed the previous week.

Department analysts also revised the number of initial claims filed for the week of March 15 -21 to 13,585, pushing the total filed since Gov. Brad Little declared a state of emergency, to 46,526 – an increase of 4,400 percent from the week prior to March 8, 2020.

Laid off workers of all age groups are affected by COVID-19 layoffs, with people under age 25 representing a disproportionate share of the total. The increase from the week of March 8 -14 to the week of March 15-21 in this group was 2,506 percent, much higher than all other age groups, and continued with a 120 percent increase for the week of March 22-28.

Women made up almost 60 percent of people filing initial claims. This statistic flipped from two weeks earlier when men represented 67 percent of initial claims.

At 33.4 percent, people living in the Boise Metropolitan Statistical Area filed more than one-third of all initial claims for the week.

Initial claims from laid off employees in accommodations and food services, health care and social assistance, and retail trade represented more than half – almost 55 percent –  of the total.

Idaho industries posting the highest percentage of new claims filed over the previous week included mining, up 767 percent; manufacturing, up 306 percent; other services (excluding public administration) up 282 percent; and construction, up 256 percent.

Weekly claims by county and industry sector are available on a new data dashboard found on the department’s Labor Market Information website at!/vizhome/IdahoInitialClaims/Dashboard

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4 thoughts on “Idaho Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Increase 143%

    1. Idaho Department of Labor Post author

      File for unemployment insurance benefits at

  1. Michael Thayer

    My UI benefits ran out 2 weeks ago and due to Pandemic, I cannot find work. I have kept filing Unemployment weekly due to being told there is a 13 week extension. When will these take affect?

    1. Idaho Department of Labor Post author

      Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation allows for an additional 13 weeks of benefits added to the end of regular unemployment benefits. This means claimants may collect unemployment benefits for a longer time than under normal circumstances. This program is also federally funded, retroactive to March 29, 2020, and ends Dec. 26, 2020. The department needs to upgrade its system for this program as well, Payments are expected to start later this month.

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