A total of 5,800 new initial claims were filed in Idaho for unemployment benefits during the week ending May 16, the same level filed the previous week.
It was the first week new claims numbers held steady after six consecutive weeks of declines. Continued claims – the number of people who requested a benefit payment – fell to 60,121, a decline of 8 percent from the previous week.
Regular state unemployment benefit payouts for the week of May 10-16 reached $12.1 million, a 9 percent decrease over the previous week, but 9.4 times higher than the same week in 2019. Total CARES Act payments increased 55 percent for the week of May 10-16 from $29.9 million to $46.3 million. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) exceeded $5 million in the first full week of payments.
Laid-off Idaho workers have filed 136,901 initial claims for unemployment benefits during the nine weeks of the COVID-19 state of emergency – 2.3 times the total number of initial claims filed in all of 2019.
As of May 16, total benefit payments attributed to COVID-19 layoffs reached $240 milion. (Idaho Department of Labor)