Idaho unemployment: New record for initial claims in one week

Coronavirus-related layoffs impact Idaho workers of all ages, but are disproportionately affecting workers under the age of 25.

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho workers laid off because of the COVID-19 coronavirus filed 32,941 initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending March 28.

The Idaho Department of Labor reports that is an increase of 143 percent over the previous week.

Those claims also represent a record number of Idaho initial claims filed during one week.

Department analysts also revised the number of initial claims filed for the week of March 15 -21 to 13,585, pushing the total filed since Gov. Brad Little declared a state of emergency, to 46,526 – an increase of 4,400 percent from the week prior to March 8, 2020.

Here’s a breakdown of the initial unemployment claims by industry:

  • Accommodations and food services, health care and social assistance, and retail trade represented more than half – almost 55 percent –  of the total. 
  • Mining: 767 percent increase in new claims filed over the previous week.
  • Manufacturing: 306 percent increase in new claims.
  • Other services (excluding public administration): up 282 percent
  • Construction: 256 percent increase in new claims.

Workers of all age groups are affected by COVID-19 layoffs, with people under age 25 representing a disproportionate share of the total. The increase from the week of March 8 -14 to the week of March 15-21 in this group was 2,506 percent, and continued with a 120 percent increase for the week of March 22-28.

Women made up almost 60 percent of people filing initial claims. This statistic flipped from two weeks earlier, when men represented 67 percent of initial claims.

People living in the Boise Metropolitan Statistical Area filed more than one-third of all initial claims for the week.

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