Category Archives: News Releases

Labor Adds Phone Lines and Agents to Help Answer Claimant Calls

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: May 29, 2020
Information Contact:Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3439

The Idaho Department of Labor has contracted with a call center to provide additional agents for claimants who want to talk to someone about their claim beginning Monday. The goal is for claimants to eventually experience shorter hold times.

All claimants who call Labor will be directed to call a new toll-free number – (833) 410-1009 – where an additional 30 people will be available to answer calls, take new claims over the phone and unlock accounts, among other tasks. These additional resources free up Labor staff to handle more complex issues with claims.

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Idaho’s Weekly Initial Claims Decrease 18% Over Previous Week

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: May 28, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102 or Darlene Carnopis, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3439

Initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits from workers laid off due to COVID-19 continued to decline, dropping 18 percent from 5,800 for the week ending May 16, to 4,727 for the week ending May 23.

Continued claims – the number of people who requested a benefit payment – continued to decline for the third consecutive week, falling to 56,692, down 5.7 percent from the previous week.

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Idaho Unemployment Reaches Record High of 11.5 Percent in April

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: May 22, 2020
Information Contact: Craig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201 or Karen Jarboe Singletary (208) 332-3570 ext. 3215

Nonfarm Jobs Fell 10.4 Percent

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment jumped to 11.5 percent and non-farm payrolls lost 79,500 jobs in April due to the effects of COVID-19.

April’s rate increased nine percentage points from a record low 2.5 percent in March to an all-time high that exceeded record-setting rates of 10.2 percent in December 1982 and the Great Recession peak rate of 9.6 percent in June 2009.

Total employment dropped by 83,842 to 788,816, a decrease of 9.6 percent, while the number of unemployed Idahoans grew by 81,001 – nearly five-fold – to 102,975.

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Idaho Sees 5,800 New Weekly Initial Claims Because of COVID-19

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: May 21, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102 or Craig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201

A total of 5,800 new initial claims were filed in Idaho for unemployment benefits during the week ending May 16, the same level filed the previous week.

It was the first week new claims numbers held steady after six consecutive weeks of declines. Continued claims – the number of people who requested a benefit payment  – fell to 60,121, a decline of 8 percent from the previous week.

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Labor Department Seeks Help in Preventing Fraud

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: May 19, 2020
Information Contact: Darlene Carnopis, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3439

The Idaho Department of Labor is asking for the public’s help in preventing unemployment insurance fraud.

“Idaho employers and workers are our first – and best –  line of defense against unemployment insurance fraud,” said Jani Revier, Labor director.

The department is asking people who are notified by the department that a claim has been filed when they did not file the claim, to send an email to fraud@labor.idaho.gov. Do not include personally identifiable information such as a Social Security number in the email. A Labor employee will follow up for more information. Employers who notice a claim has been filed for one of their employees who is still working, should also alert the department.

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Idaho Labor Encourages Youth to Apply for Job Assistance

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: May 14, 2020
Information Contact: Windy Keele, (208) 557-2500 ext. 3053

The Idaho Department of Labor is actively recruiting youth for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program in most regions across the state. Grant money is available through the WIOA program to help youth and young adults who are struggling in their career due to a lack of education or job training.

The WIOA program provides qualifying young adults with career guidance and financial assistance to help achieve their educational and employment goals. Services are customized to meet the needs of each applicant and may include job search assistance, work experience, apprenticeships or formal training programs as well as a variety of other assistance.

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Idaho Sees 5,795 New Weekly Initial Claims Because of COVID-19

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: May 14, 2020
Information Contact: Craig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201 or Salvador Vazquez, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3218

Initial claims reached 5,795 during the week ending May 9, a 23 percent decline from the previous week.

Laid-off Idaho workers filed 131,101 initial claims for unemployment benefits during the eight weeks of the COVID-19 state of emergency – 2.2 times the total number of initial claims filed in all of 2019.

It was the sixth week the number of new claims fell, while continued claims – the number of people who claimed benefits – fell to 65,478, a decline of 9 percent from the previous week.

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Labor Begins Making Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Payments

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: May 11, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102

The Idaho Department of Labor is now making payments for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provides benefits to individuals who are unemployed because of COVID-19 and are not eligible for regular benefits.

Payments will be made to workers who are not monetarily eligible for regular benefits and have no pending issues on their claim.

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Idaho’s Weekly Initial Claims Because of COVID-19 Climb Above 125,000

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: May 7, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102 or Craig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201

Initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits from workers laid off due to COVID-19 reached 7,495 during the week ending May 2, a 15 percent decline from the previous week.

Idaho workers have filed 125,306 initial claims for unemployment benefits during the seven weeks of the COVID-19 state of emergency – 2.1 times the total number of initial claims filed in all of 2019.

It was the fifth week the number of new claims fell, while continued claims – the number of valid claims filed by people who are eligible, currently claiming benefits and still unable to return to work – reached 71,794.

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Labor Ready to Accept Applications for Extended Unemployment Insurance Benefits

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: April 30, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102

Idahoans who are out of work and have exhausted regular unemployment insurance benefits can now apply for extended benefits under the CARES Act online at labor.idaho.gov/claimantportal.

Changes made by the Idaho Department of Labor to its system will add an additional 13 weeks to an eligible claimant’s unemployment benefit year. To qualify, a claimant must have a claim with a benefit year ending date after July 1, 2019.

The payments are retroactive to March 29 or the first week after an individual exhausts benefits, whichever is later.

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