Idaho’s Weekly Unemployment Initial Claims Fall 3 Percent from Previous Week


For Immediate Release: Sept. 3, 2020
Media Contact: Craig Shaul, or Salvador Vazquez,

New initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits totaled 3,686 for the week ending Aug. 29, decreasing 3 percent – or 108 claims – from the previous week.

The four-week moving average increased by 1 percent to 3,594 new initial claims per week.

Continued claims – the number of people who requested a benefit payment – dropped by 12 percent from the previous week to 14,423, the 17th consecutive week of declines. The four-week moving average for continued claims fell 14 percent – from 20,205 for the week ending Aug. 22 to 17,468 for the week ending Aug. 29.

Manufacturing combined with health care and social assistance represented 24 percent of total claims for the week ending Aug. 29. Accommodation and food services, and retail trade each represented 11 percent, as administrative and support services, and construction each represented 10 percent.

By age, 25 percent of claims filed were by people ages 25 to 34. Claimants ages 35 to 44 represented 23 percent, those ages 45 to 54 were 18 percent and young people under age 25 represented 15 percent. By gender, the claims filed were evenly split between women and men.

Laid-off Idaho workers filed four times more claims than during the same week in 2019 but at a similar level as the 3,655 average weekly claims filed during the height of the Great Recession in 2009. Continued claims for the week ending Aug. 29 were two times higher than the same week last year, but 57 percent below the 2009 weekly average of 33,728.

The department paid out $9.3 million in claims during the week ending Aug. 29, down from $14.1 million for the week ending Aug. 22. Regular state benefit payouts were $3.4 million, down from $4.1 million the previous week, but 3.5 times higher than the same week in 2019. Of the CARES Act programs, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation payments (PEUC) were $1.9 million, with payouts for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) at $2.8 million and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) at $1.2 million.

Total benefit payments to laid-off Idahoans attributed to COVID-19 reached $804 million. Regular state unemployment insurance benefits made up $189 million of the total, with PEUC benefits at $22 million, PUA benefits at $57 million and FPUC payments at $533 million and Federal-State Extended Benefit payments at $3 million.

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

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