Category Archives: COVID-19

Supplementary Economic Indicators Offer Insight During COVID

In economics, it can often seem that nothing happens for years at a time, only for years’ worth of change to happen all at once. The economy, in other words, can seem stable – or even boring – until suddenly it is not. In Idaho, for example, the changes in total nonfarm employment in April, May and June 2020 exceeded (in absolute terms) all the changes that occurred from 2015 to the end of 2019. Owing to the pandemic shock of COVID-19, three months saw more volatility in Idaho’s labor market than the preceding four years.

When economic events gain velocity, especially in the face of a serious recession, a variety of labor market indicators take on new importance, especially those updated monthly or even weekly, rather than quarterly or annually. Several labor market indicators can add to a real time understanding of economic conditions as a supplement to the Department of Labor’s headline statistics like unemployment rates and nonfarm employment numbers.

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Idaho’s Weekly Unemployment Initial Claims Increase 12 Percent from Previous Week

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: Aug. 20, 2020
Media Contact: Craig Shaul, Craig.Shaul@labor.idaho.gov or Salvador Vazquez, Salvador.Vazquez@labor.idaho.gov

New initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits totaled 3,644 for the week ending Aug. 15, increasing 12 percent – or 394 claims – from the previous week.

The four-week moving average decreased by 12 percent to 3,801 new initial claims per week – the fourth consecutive week of declines.

Continued claims – the number of people who requested a benefit payment – dropped by 7 percent from the previous week to 18,772, the 15th consecutive week of declines. The four-week moving average for continued claims fell 9 percent – from 24,925 for the week ending Aug. 8 to 22,712 for the week ending Aug. 15.

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

NEWS RELEASE

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

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.

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Idaho’s Weekly Initial Claims Decrease 17 Percent from Previous Week

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: July 30, 2020
Media Contact: Salvador Vazquez, Salvador.Vazquez@labor.idaho.gov or Darlene Carnopis, darlene.carnopis@labor.idaho.gov

New initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits totaled 4,703 for the week ending July 25, decreasing 17 percent – or 984 claims – from the previous week.

The four-week moving average fell 3 percent to an average of 5,193 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 26,445, the 12th consecutive week of declines. The four-week moving average for continued claims also fell 4 percent from 29,091 for the week ending July 18 to 27,981 for the week ending July 25.

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COVID-19 Impacts Idaho’s Older Workers

The 416,000 Idahoans who are in their 50s and 60s face many challenges because of the coronavirus economic impact.

Loss of business income. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly reduced revenues of many Idaho businesses. It also is likely to lead to the permanent closure of some businesses, especially restaurants, entertainment operations, lodging and retail stores. Since older adults are more likely to run their own businesses, they are disproportionately impacted. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 24 percent of American workers 65 years and older are self-employed, while 15 percent of workers 55 to 64 years are self-employed. In comparison, 8 percent of workers under 55 are self-employed.

Joblessness. About 16 percent of Idaho’s 162,000 payroll workers 55 years and over filed new unemployment insurance claims between March 15 and June 13. Some returned to work within a month, but others experienced two or three months of joblessness.

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

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: July 23, 2020
Media Contact: Craig.Shaul, craig.shaul@labor.idaho.gov or Darlene Carnopis, darlene.carnopis@labor.idaho.gov

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.

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Idaho’s Weekly Initial Claims Increase 11 Percent from Previous Week

News Release

For Immediate Release: July 16, 2020
Media Contact: Craig Shaul, Craig.Shaul@labor.idaho.gov or Salvador Vazquez, Salvador.Vazquez@labor.idaho.gov

New initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits totaled 5,458 for the week ending July 11, increasing 11 percent – or 534 claims – from the previous week.

The four-week moving average rose 10 percent to an average of 5,021 new initial claims per week.

Continued claims – the number of people who requested a benefit payment – dropped by 6 percent from the previous week to 28,766, the 10th consecutive week of declines. The four-week moving average for continued claims also fell 6 percent from 32,450 for the week ending July 4 to 30,451 for the week ending July 11.

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Idaho’s Weekly Initial Claims Decline 9 Percent from Previous Week

News Release

For Immediate Release: July 9, 2020
Media Contact: Craig Shaul, Craig.Shaul@labor.idaho.gov or Salvador Vazquez, Salvador.Vazquez@labor.idaho

New initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits totaled 4,924 for the week ending July 4, decreasing 9 percent – or 493 claims – from the previous week.

The four-week moving average rose 6 percent to an average of 4,564 new initial claims per week.

Continued claims – the number of people who requested a benefit payment – dropped by 6 percent from the previous week to 29,090, the ninth consecutive week of declines. The four-week moving average fell 13 percent from 37,122 to 32,450 for the week ending July 4.

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Economic Rebound from COVID-19 Will Take Time

The fallout from COVID-19 has Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate soaring from a record low of 2.5 percent in March to a record high of 11.8 percent in April. With the lockdown phasing out in late May and early June in most of the state, many jobs are being restored. But the Idaho economy, as well as economies around the globe, may not rebound completely for some time.

 More than one in four young Idahoans lost jobs

Teens and young adults experienced the most job losses during the first 10 weeks of the crisis. More than one in four (25.6 percent) Idaho workers under 35 years old filed new unemployment insurance claims between March 15 and May 23, while 15.7 of workers 35 years and older filed new claims.

Why did young people encounter especially large unemployment spikes? Youth make up a large proportion of the workforce of the two sectors with the most layoffs – leisure & hospitality and retail – which together accounted for 28 percent of all new unemployment claims. People under age 35 held 60 percent of leisure and hospitality jobs and 43 percent of retail jobs in 2019, according to the Census Bureau’s Quarterly Workforce Indicators. Youth are less likely to hold the managerial and professional jobs that could be done at home. In addition, employers typically lay off less experienced workers, while keeping those with greater seniority.

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Idaho’s Weekly Initial Claims Increase from Previous Week

News Release

For Immediate Release: July 2, 2020
Media Contact: Darlene Carnopis, darlene.carnopis@labor.idaho.gov or Georgia Smith, georgia.smith@labor.idaho.gov

New initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits totaled 5,417 for the week ending June 27, increasing 26 percent – or 1,132 claims – from the previous week.

The four-week moving average rose 11 percent to an average of 4,322 new initial claims per week.

Continued claims – the number of people who requested a benefit payment – dropped by 7 percent from the previous week to 30,866, the eighth consecutive week of declines. The four-week moving average for continued claims also fell 12 percent from 42,160 for the week ending June 20 to 37,122 for the week ending June 27.

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