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Idaho sees 5,795 new weekly initial unemployment claims because of COVID-19

| May 14, 2020 12:28 PM

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.

Accommodations and food services accounted for almost 15 percent of total claims filed during the week, while retail represented the second largest group at 13 percent, and health care and social assistance jobs the third largest with 11 percent. The three sectors combined were 39 percent of total new claims filed during the week. Unemployment claims for manufacturing jobs represented about 10 percent.

COVID-19 layoffs continue to affect people of all ages, with young people under age 25 representing almost 20 percent of initial claims for the week. Claims were evenly split between the two genders.

Between March 23 and May 9, the Idaho Department of Labor paid out to laid-off Idaho workers $70 million in regular benefits, $504,000 in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) payments and $123.9 million in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payments. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payment information will be available next week.

Regular benefit payouts for the week of May 3-9 reached $13.4 million, a 2 percent decrease over the previous week, but 9.5 times higher than the same week in 2019. Total CARES Act payments increased 6.4 percent for the week of May 3-9 from $28.6 million to $30.4 million.