Idaho’s Weekly Initial Claims Increase 4 Percent from Previous Week


For Immediate Release: July 23, 2020
Media Contact: Craig.Shaul, or Darlene Carnopis,

New initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits totaled 5,687 for the week ending July 18, increasing 4 percent – or 229 claims – from the previous week.

The four-week moving average rose 7 percent to an average of 5,372 new initial claims per week.

Continued claims – the number of people who requested a benefit payment – dropped by 4 percent from the previous week to 27,622, the 11th consecutive week of declines. The four-week moving average for continued claims also fell 5 percent from 30,451 for the week ending July 11 to 29,091 for the week ending July 18.

Health care and social assistance represented 15 percent of total claims for week ending July 18. Accommodations and food services represented 14 percent, manufacturing 13 percent and retail trade 12 percent. The aggregated claims for these four sectors accounted for 54 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 19 percent and workers ages 45 to 54 accounted for 16 percent. By gender, women filed 53 percent of all initial claims – increasing the slight majority women have held over men in claims filed for the third consecutive week.

Laid-off Idaho workers have filed 178,629 initial claims for unemployment benefits during the 18 weeks since the COVID-19 state of emergency declaration – three times the total number of initial claims filed in all of 2019. Two-thirds of the initial claims filed were in the first six weeks.

The department paid out $35.9 million in claims during the week ending July 18, down slightly from $37.7 million for the week ending July 11. Regular state unemployment benefit payouts were $6.1 million, down from $7.2 million the previous week, but 5.1 times higher than the same week in 2019. Of the CARES Act programs, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation payments (PEUC) were $1.4 million, with payouts for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) at $2.8 million and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) at $25.6 million.

At $676 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 $161 million of the total, with PEUC benefits at $12.8 million, PUA benefits at $38.5 million and FPUC payments at $463.7 million.

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

— end —