Idaho’s Weekly Initial Claims Decrease 18% Over Previous Week


For Immediate Release: May 28, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102 or Darlene Carnopis, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3439

Initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits from workers laid off due to COVID-19 continued to decline, dropping 18 percent from 5,800 for the week ending May 16, to 4,727 for the week ending May 23.

Continued claims – the number of people who requested a benefit payment – continued to decline for the third consecutive week, falling to 56,692, down 5.7 percent from the previous week.

Health care and social assistance accounted for almost 13 percent of claims filed during the week. Accommodation and food services accounted for the second largest group with a nearly equivalent amount of claims. Retail and manufacturing accounted for an additional 23 percent of claims. Combined, these four sectors account for nearly 50 percent of all new claims filed during the week.

Young people under age 25 represented 18 percent of initial claims for the week. Males represented 53 percent of claimants.

Regular state unemployment benefit payouts for the week of May 17-23 reached $11.2 million, a 7.7 percent decrease over the previous week, but 9.4 times higher than the same week in 2019. Total CARES Act payments decreased 5.4 percent for the week of May 17-23 from $27.1 million to $25.7 million. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments were $945,100.

Laid-off Idaho workers have filed 141,628 initial claims for unemployment benefits during the 10 weeks of the COVID-19 state of emergency – 2.4 times the total number of initial claims filed in all of 2019.

As of May 23, total benefit payments attributed to COVID-19 layoffs reached $278 million.

Weekly claims by county and industry are available on Idaho’s claim data dashboard at

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