Idaho’s Weekly Unemployment Initial Claims Decrease 23 Percent from Previous Week


For Immediate Release: Aug. 6, 2020
Media Contact: Craig Shaul, or Salvador Vazquez,

New initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits totaled 3,607 for the week ending Aug. 1, decreasing 23 percent – or 1,096 claims – from the previous week.

The four-week moving average fell 6 percent to 4,864 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 25,369, the 13th consecutive week of declines. The four-week moving average for continued claims fell 3 percent – from 27,981 for the week ending July 25 to 27,051 for the week ending Aug. 1.

Manufacturing and accommodation and food services represented more than a quarter of total initial claims filed. Health care and social assistance represented 13 percent and retail trade 11 percent. Together, the claims for all four sectors accounted for 51 percent of the Aug. 1 weekly total.

By age, 28 percent of claims filed were by people ages 25 to 34. Young people under age 25 represented 20 percent, followed by ages 35 to 44 at 20 percent and workers ages 45 to 54 at 16 percent. By gender, the claims filed were evenly split between women and men.

Laid-off Idaho workers filed five times more claims than those filed during the same week in 2019 and just slightly less than the 3,655 average claims filed each week during the height of the Great Recession in 2009.  Continued claims for the week ending Aug. 1 were four times higher than the same week last year, but 25 percent below the 2009 weekly average of 33,728.

The department paid out $38.1 million in claims during the week ending Aug. 1, down slightly from $38.4 million for the week ending July 25. Regular state benefit payouts were $5.7 million, down from $5.8 million the previous week, but 5.3 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 $3.6 million and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) at $27.2 million.

Total benefit payments to laid-off Idahoans attributed to COVID-19 have reached $752 million. Regular state unemployment insurance benefits make up $172 million of the total, with PEUC benefits at $16 million, PUA benefits at $46 million and FPUC payments at $518 million.

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

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