Idaho’s Weekly Unemployment Initial Claims Decrease 22% Over Previous Week


For Immediate Release: June 4, 2020
Media Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102 or Craig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201

New initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits totaled 3,646 for the week ending May 30 – declining 22 percent from the previous week.

Continued claims – the number of people who requested a benefit payment – declined for the fourth consecutive week, falling to 51,035, down 10 percent from the previous week.

Health care and social assistance, and manufacturing accounted for almost 13 percent each of claims filed during the week. Accommodation and food services accounted for the third largest group with almost 12 percent, and retail took the fourth spot with nearly 11 percent. Combined, these four sectors accounted for nearly half of all new claims filed during the week.

By age, 24 percent of claims were for those 25 to 34 years old and 20 percent for people ages 35 to 44. Young people under age 25 represented 18 percent of initial claims for the week. Claims by gender were an even split.

Regular state unemployment benefit payouts for the week of May 24-30 reached $9.5 million, just over a 15 percent decrease over the previous week, but 8.6 times higher than the same week in 2019. Total CARES Act payments decreased almost 14 percent for the week of May 24-30, from $25.7 million to $22.2 million. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments were up to $944,700 – mostly to self-employed individuals.

Laid-off Idaho workers filed 145,274 initial claims for unemployment benefits during the 11 weeks since the COVID-19 state of emergency declaration – almost 2.5 times the total number of initial claims filed in all of 2019.

As of May 30, total benefit payments attributed to COVID-19 layoffs reached $312 million.

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

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