Idaho’s Weekly Unemployment Initial Claims Fall 4 Percent from Previous Week


For Immediate Release: Sept. 17, 2020
Media Contact: Craig Shaul, or Salvador Vazquez,

Initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits totaled 3,672 for the week ending Sept. 12, dropping by 4 percent – or 132 claims – from the previous week.

The four-week moving average held steady at 3,739 new initial claims per week.

Continued claims – the number of people who requested a benefit payment – continued to fall, dropping 12 percent from the previous week to 11,510, the 19th consecutive week of declines. The four-week moving average for continued claims also fell 12 percent – from 15,658 for the week ending Sept. 5 to 13,842 for the week ending Sept. 12.

Manufacturing represented 16 percent of total claims for the week ending Sept. 12. Health care and social assistance, administrative and support services, and retail represented 11 percent each. Accommodation and food services represented 10 percent.

By age, 23 percent of claims filed were by people ages 25 to 34. Claimants ages 35 to 44 represented 22 percent, those ages 45 to 54 were 20 percent and young people under age 25 represented 14 percent. Claims filed were evenly split between women and men.

The department paid out $15 million in claims during the week ending Sept. 12, down from $41.9 million for the week ending Sept. 5. The Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program paid out $7.8 million, down from the prior week’s payout of $33.8 million. Regular state benefit payouts were $2.4 million, down from $2.9 million the previous week, but 2.7 times higher than the same week in 2019. Of the CARES Act programs, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation payments (PEUC) paid out $1.9 million, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) paid out $2.3 million and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) paid out just $.6 million.

Total benefit payments to laid-off Idahoans attributed to COVID-19 reached $861 million. Regular state unemployment insurance benefits made up $194.5 million of the total, with PEUC benefits at $26.7 million, PUA benefits at $62.3 million and FPUC payments at $535.9 million and LWA benefits at $41.6 million.

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