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 Industries Most Affected by COVID-19

COVID-19 is having substantial economic impacts and causing significant job losses as non-essential businesses close. In Idaho, unemployment insurance claims spiked following implementation of Idaho’s stay-home order, with nearly 110,000 total claims filed in the first five weeks following the statewide emergency order. Since then, weekly initial claims averages are roughly 18 times greater than the weekly average in 2019.

While it will take time to understand the full economic impact of COVID-19, it is not too early to detect job loss patterns. Some industries are losing more jobs than others, and while some industry losses are not surprising — like movie theaters, restaurants and salons — others may be counterintuitive. Despite the strain on some parts of the health care industry to treat COVID-19, health care workers are losing their jobs because patients are putting off routine medial care and elective surgeries. Other people are avoiding emergency rooms and urgent care clinics due to fears of contracting COVID-19.

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COVID-19 and Idaho’s Economy – The First Six Weeks

COVID-19 slammed Idaho’s economy in March, causing the most sudden and largest job losses ever. At first, most of the job losses occurred in the tourism industry, as fear of COVID-19 reduced international travel, then domestic travel. Then conventions were canceled, schools closed, classes moved online and the dominoes kept falling. Every day, more businesses shut down or laid off its workers. On March 25, Gov. Brad Little issued a statewide 21-day stay-home order and required non-essential businesses to close.

In the six weeks since the coronavirus began affecting Idaho’s economy, 117,811 claims were filed — 13.5 percent of all Idaho residents who were employed before the crisis.

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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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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in March 2020

This March edition of “Around Idaho” was postponed due to unexpected delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This article is being published to provide a record of the economic climate across the state during March 2020.

Information provided in these news updates is from professional sources, news releases, weekly and daily newspapers, television and other media.

Northern Idaho
North Central Idaho
Southwestern Idaho
South Central Idaho
Southeastern
Eastern Idaho

 

NORTHERN IDAHO – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone Counties

Kootenai County

  • Effective Monday, March 23, all restaurants and bars in Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene and Hayden were closed to dine-in customers for two weeks to improve social distancing measures in response to COVID-19. Drive-thru and pickup service is still allowed. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The Coeur d’Alene Public Library announced an indefinite closure due to COVID 19 on March 16. On March 21 they announced the suspension of curbside book pickup, out of concern that it was encouraging people to gather outside the library. Patrons were instructed to hold on to items currently on loan until the library reopens. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Mountain West Bank has closed the lobbies in all its Idaho facilities. Drive thru banking service will still be available. (Source: Coeur d’Alene Press)
  • Area schools are closed to prevent the spread of COVID 19. Public school districts are closed until conditions improve, according to the State Board of Education criteria. CDA Charter Academy and North Idaho STEM Charter Academy have both transitioned completely to online learning. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Openings

  • Bi-Mart, Rathdrum
  • Doggy Style Pet Grooming, Coeur d’Alene

Sam.Wolkenhauer@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

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Regional COVID-19 Pandemic Weekly Update – May 1, 2020

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has created unprecedented disruptions to the economy. Each week in March and April brought news and developments that were historic and overshadowed the previous week’s developments. It has been impossible to keep up with the magnitude and volume of the economic impact affecting Idaho and its regions.

To document this event in Idaho, and the changes our state is experiencing from week to week, the Idaho Department of Labor is providing a weekly update. Pertinent events and data as it becomes available will be provided for each region in Idaho, the state as a whole and the context of the national economy.

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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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Idaho’s Weekly Initial Claims Because of COVID-19 Reach 117,000

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: April 30, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102 or Craig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201

Laid-off Idaho workers filed 117,811 initial claims for unemployment benefits during the six weeks of the COVID-19 state of emergency – twice the total number of initial claims filed in all of 2019.

Initial claims reached 8,827 during the week ending April 25, a 32 percent decline from the previous week.

It was the third 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 71,416. Continue reading

Regional COVID-19 Pandemic Weekly Update – April 24, 2020

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has created unprecedented disruptions to the economy. Each week in March brought news and developments that were historic and overshadowed the previous week’s developments. It has been impossible to keep up with the magnitude and volume of the economic impact affecting Idaho and its regions.

To document this event in Idaho, and the changes our state is experiencing from week to week, the Idaho Department of Labor is providing a weekly update. Pertinent events and data as it becomes available will be provided for each region in Idaho, the state as a whole and the context of the national economy.

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Labor Begins Making Payments for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: April 24, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102

The Idaho Department of Labor has begun making more than $63 million in payments for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which provides temporary emergency funds of $600 per week for claimants.

It will take approximately three business days for claimants to see the funds in their bank accounts or debit cards once it has been issued. The payments are retroactive to March 29 or the first week the individual received benefits, whichever is later. The payment will be delivered in one lump sum.

Claimants do not need to do anything extra to receive the $600 weekly, but they should continue to file weekly claims. Claimants with pending issues preventing payment will not receive the additional funds until the issues are resolved and they are allowed benefits. There is no need to call the department as claimants can check the Claimant Portal to confirm payment.

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