Tag Archives: coronavirus

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 11.5 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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Labor Department Clears 85 Percent of Pending Unemployment Claims

News Release

For Immediate Release: July 1, 2020
Media Contact: Darlene Carnopis, darlene.carnopis@labor.idaho.gov or Georgia Smith, georgia.smith@labor.idaho.gov

The Idaho Department of Labor has cleared about 85 percent of 42,000 pending claims, as of June 6, and expects to work through the remaining 5,500 pending claims by mid-July.

A total of 120 Maximus call center agents are now working with department staff to answer phones and re-set passwords among other tasks. With increased staffing, wait times have been cut in half and most calls are now being answered. Call volumes have significantly decreased as backlogs reduce.

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Idaho’s Weekly Unemployment Initial Claims Increase from Previous Week

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: June 25, 2020
Media Contact: Salvador Vazquez, salvador.vazquez@labor.idaho.gov or Craig Shaul, craig.shaul@labor.idaho.gov

New initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits totaled 4,285 for the week ending June 20, increasing 18 percent – or 654 claims – from the previous week.

The four-week moving average declined 3 percent to an average of 3,879 new initial claims per week.

Continued claims – the number of people who requested a benefit payment – dropped by 10 percent from the previous week to 33,060, the seventh consecutive week of declines. The four-week moving average for continued claims also fell 12 percent from 48,068 for the week ending June 13 to 42,160 for the week ending June 20.

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Idaho Labor Department Takes Steps to Combat Fraud

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: June 19, 2020
Media Contact: Georgia Smith, georgia.smith@labor.idaho.gov or Darlene Carnopis, darlene.carnopis@labor.idaho.gov

Crime rings across the globe are exploiting the COVID-19 crisis by attempting to commit large scale fraud against multiple state unemployment insurance programs and Idaho is not exempt.

These crime rings possess substantial databases of stolen personally identifiable information which is used to submit a large volume of applications for unemployment benefits. Scammers use the names and addresses of Idaho residents, but then have payments sent to bank accounts in other states or have bank cards mailed to different addresses.

The Idaho Department of Labor uses many methods to flag potentially fraudulent claims and stop them from payment until the fraud team can review and confirm identity on the applications. Currently, the department has thousands of pending claims that have been identified as potentially fraudulent. About 45 percent of the claims flagged for identity theft turn out to be fraud.

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Idaho Unemployment Rate Falls to 8.9 Percent in May

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: June 19, 2020
Media Contact: Craig Shaul, craig.shaul@labor.idaho.gov or Karen Jarboe Singletary, karen.jarboesingletary@labor.idaho.gov

Note: This release includes revised labor market numbers provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. See below.*

Nonfarm jobs recover 3.5 percent

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 8.9 percent in May, and non-farm payrolls regained 24,300 jobs as the state’s economy began a rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.

May’s rate dropped from a revised record high of 11.8 percent in April, falling below former peak rates of 10.2 percent in December 1982 and 9.6 percent in June 2009 during the Great Recession.

Total employment increased 23,090 to 804,643, up 3 percent from April, while the number of unemployed Idahoans dropped by 24.2 percent, down 25,276 to 79,015.

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Idaho’s Weekly Initial Claims Decline Slightly from Previous Week

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: June 18, 2020
Media Contact: Salvador Vazquez, salvador.vazquez@labor.idaho.gov or Craig Shaul, craig.shaul@labor.idaho.gov

Record amount of $86 million paid out during the week of June 7-13

New initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits totaled 3,631 for the week ending June 13, decreasing 8 percent – or 322 claims – from the previous week.

The four-week moving average declined 12 percent to an average of 3,989 new initial claims per week.

Continued claims – the number of people who requested a benefit payment – dropped by 23 percent from the previous week to 36,764, the largest of six consecutive weeks of declines. The four-week moving average of 48,068 also fell 11 percent from the previous four-week average.

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Labor Department Makes Progress on Paying Backlog of Unemployment Claims

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: June 17, 2020
Media Contact: Georgia Smith, georgia.smith@labor.idaho.gov or Darlene Carnopis, darlene.carnopis@labor.idaho.gov

An executive order signed by Gov. Brad Little, temporarily easing some unemployment insurance eligibility requirements, has allowed the Idaho Department of Labor to increase the number of unemployment insurance claims being paid.

This and other measures have lowered pending claims from 42,000 to just over 20,000. The number of active individuals who had filed a claim but not yet received a payment dropped from more than 17,000 to 8,500 individuals as of June 16.

During the first 12 weeks since the COVID-19 state of emergency declaration, more than 2.5 times the total number of initial claims were filed than in all of 2019. Of the 149,227 initial claims filed, seventy-five percent were filed in the first five weeks. That created a huge backlog of claims. The department estimates the backlog of pending claims will be eliminated by the end of July.

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Idaho’s Weekly Unemployment Initial Claims Decrease 22% Over Previous Week

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: June 4, 2020
Media Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102 or Craig Shaul, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201

New initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits totaled 3,646 for the week ending May 30 – declining 22 percent from the previous week.

Continued claims – the number of people who requested a benefit payment – declined for the fourth consecutive week, falling to 51,035, down 10 percent from the previous week.

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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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