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Idaho’s unemployment rate reaches record high in April

| May 26, 2020 12:27 PM

BOISE (AP) — Idaho’s unemployment rate swung from a record low to a record high in the span of a month, spurred by job losses from the coronavirus pandemic.

Idaho Department of Labor officials said April’s unemployment rate reached 11.5%. That’s a 9 point jump in the seasonally-adjusted number compared to the record low 2.5% rate recorded in March.

Nearly 103,000 Idaho residents were unemployed last month, according to the department, an 81,000 person increase.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little issued a statewide stay-at-home order that closed non-essential businesses for Idaho’s 1.75 million residents on March 25 in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus. The state has since begun the process of re-opening some businesses, including daycare facilities and restaurants that can offer social distancing in their dining rooms.

April’s job losses were spread throughout the state, with the Lewiston, Coeur d’Alene and Pocatello regions all seeing job losses between 11% and 15%. The Boise metropolitan area had a 10% job loss. The Idaho Falls area fared best with a loss of 4.3%.

Idaho had more than 2,600 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. At least 79 residents have died of the illness so far.