Idaho’s Weekly Initial Claims Increase 11 Percent from Previous Week

News Release

For Immediate Release: July 16, 2020
Media Contact: Craig Shaul, or Salvador Vazquez,

New initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits totaled 5,458 for the week ending July 11, increasing 11 percent – or 534 claims – from the previous week.

The four-week moving average rose 10 percent to an average of 5,021 new initial claims per week.

Continued claims – the number of people who requested a benefit payment – dropped by 6 percent from the previous week to 28,766, the 10th consecutive week of declines. The four-week moving average for continued claims also fell 6 percent from 32,450 for the week ending July 4 to 30,451 for the week ending July 11.

Accommodation and food services represented 15 percent of total claims for week ending July 11. Health care and social assistance were 13 percent, manufacturing represented 12 percent and retail trade 11 percent. The aggregated claims for these four sectors accounted for 51 percent of the weekly total.

By age, 27 percent of claims were for people ages 25 to 34. Young people under the age 25 claimed 21 percent, people ages 35 to 44 represented 20 percent and workers ages 45 to 54 accounted for 16 percent. By gender, women filed 51 percent of all initial claims – a slight majority over claims filed by men – for the second consecutive week.

Laid-off Idaho workers filed 172,942 initial claims for unemployment benefits during the 17 weeks since the COVID-19 state of emergency declaration – 2.9 times the total number of initial claims filed in all of 2019. Fifty-five percent of the initial claims filed were in the first four weeks.

The department paid out $37.7 million in claims during the week ending July 11, up slightly from $35.7 million for the week ending July 4. Regular state unemployment benefit payouts were $7.2 million, up from $6.8 million the previous week, but 6.1 times higher than the same week in 2019. Of the CARES Act programs, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation payments (PEUC) were $1.6 million, with payouts for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) at $2.6 million and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) at $26.3 million.

At $640 million, total benefit payments to laid-off Idahoans – and attributed to COVID 19 – have exceeded a half a billion dollars. Unemployment insurance regular benefits make up $155 million of the total, with PEUC benefits at $11.3 million, PUA benefits at $35.7 million and FPUC payments at $438 million.

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

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