Idaho’s Weekly Initial Claims Because of COVID-19 Reach 117,000


For Immediate Release: April 30, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102 or Craig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201

Laid-off Idaho workers filed 117,811 initial claims for unemployment benefits during the six weeks of the COVID-19 state of emergency – twice the total number of initial claims filed in all of 2019.

Initial claims reached 8,827 during the week ending April 25, a 32 percent decline from the previous week.

It was the third week the number of new claims fell, while continued claims – the number of valid claims filed by people who are eligible, currently claiming benefits and still unable to return to work – reached 71,416.

Health care and social assistance jobs represented 19 percent of all new claims, followed by accommodations and food services, and retail at about 15 percent each. Combined, the three sectors represent nearly half – 48.6 percent – of the total new claims filed during the week.

COVID-19 layoffs continue to affect people of all ages, with young people under age 25 representing more than 26 percent of initial claims for the week. Women represent 54 percent.

The Department of Labor paid out just under $45 million in benefits to laid-off Idaho workers between March 23 and April 25. Payouts for the week of April 19 – 25 reached $13.7 million, a 7.2 percent increase over the previous week, and seven times higher than the same week in 2019. This does not include the $600 weekly payment from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which was implemented in Idaho on April 24.

Weekly claims by county and industry are available on a data dashboard at

— end —