Idaho’s Weekly Unemployment Initial Claims Decrease 10 Percent from Previous Week


For Immediate Release: Aug. 13, 2020
Media Contact: Craig Shaul, or Salvador Vazquez,

New initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits totaled 3,250 for the week ending Aug. 8, decreasing 10 percent – or 357 claims – from the previous week.

The four-week moving average fell 11 percent to 4,312 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 20,263, the 14th consecutive week of declines. The four-week moving average for continued claims fell 8 percent – from 27,051 for the week ending Aug. 1 to 24,925 for the week ending Aug. 8.

Health care and social assistance represented 14 percent of total initial claims filed. Accommodation and food services, retail trade, administrative and support and waste management, and manufacturing each represented 12 percent of total claims filed. Together, the claims for all five sectors accounted for 62 percent of the Aug. 8 weekly total.

By age, 27 percent of claims filed were by people ages 25 to 34. Young people under age 25 represented 18 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 three times more claims than those filed during the same week in 2019 and 11 percent 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. 8 were three times higher than the same week last year, but 40 percent below the 2009 weekly average of 33,728.

The department paid out $14.7 million in claims during the week ending Aug. 8, down from $38.1 million for the week ending Aug. 1. The drop was due to the ending of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which had paid an additional $600 per week in benefits. Regular state benefit payouts were $4.9 million, down from $5.7 million the previous week, but 4.4 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 $2.9 million and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) at just $5.3 million.

Total benefit payments to laid-off Idahoans attributed to COVID-19 have reached $767 million. Regular state unemployment insurance benefits make up $177 million of the total, with PEUC benefits at $17 million, PUA benefits at $49 million and FPUC payments at $524 million.

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

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