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Initial unemployment claims in Idaho tops 100,000

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BOISE (KIVI) — Idaho workers who were laid off due to COVID-19 have filed 108,984 initial claims for unemployment benefits. This number is from the first five weeks of the COVID-19 state of emergency.

Initial claims were at 13,023 during the week of April 18, a 30 percent decline from the previous week. That number is still 12 times greater than all of 2019’s weekly average.

That week was the second week the number of new claims fell. The number of valid claims filed by eligible people currently claiming benefits and still unable to work reached 67,722.

Healthcare and social assistance jobs made up 19 percent of all new claims. Accommodations and food services and retail followed at almost 15 percent each. All three sectors represent 48.6 percent of the total new claims filed during the week.

COVID-19 layoffs continue to affect people of all ages, with young people under age 25 representing more than 25 percent of initial claims for the week. Women represent 56 percent.

The Department of Labor paid out $31.3 million in benefits to laid-off Idaho workers between March 23 and April 18. Payouts for the week of April 12 – 18 reached $12.8 million, a 33.9 percent increase over the previous week, and seven times higher than the same week in 2019.

Weekly claims by county and industry are available on a data dashboard here.

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