Idaho’s Weekly Initial Claims Because of COVID-19 Climb Above 125,000


For Immediate Release: May 7, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102 or Craig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201

Initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits from workers laid off due to COVID-19 reached 7,495 during the week ending May 2, a 15 percent decline from the previous week.

Idaho workers have filed 125,306 initial claims for unemployment benefits during the seven weeks of the COVID-19 state of emergency – 2.1 times the total number of initial claims filed in all of 2019.

It was the fifth 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 71,794.

Accommodation and food services jobs accounted for almost 17 percent of total claims filed, while health care and social assistance jobs represented 14 percent and retail about 12 percent. The three sectors combined represent 43 percent of 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 represented 53 percent.

Payouts for the week of April 26 – May 2 reached $14.2 million, a 3.9 percent increase over the previous week, and 8.8 times higher than the same week in 2019.

The Department of Labor has paid out $59,185,102 in benefits to laid-off Idaho workers between March 23 and May 2.

This does not include an additional $97,119,600 in $600 weekly benefit payments through 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

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