BOISE - New initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits totaled 3,804 for the week ending Sept. 5, increasing 3% - or 118 claims - from the previous week. 

The four-week moving average increased by 4% to 3,732 new initial claims per week.

Continued claims – the number of people who requested a benefit payment – dropped by 10% from the previous week to 13,021, the 18th consecutive week of declines. The four-week moving average for continued claims also fell 10% - from 17,468 for the week ending Aug. 29 to 15,658 for the week ending Sept. 5. 

Accommodation and food services represented 12% of total claims for the week ending Sept. 5. Health care and social assistance, administrative and support services, manufacturing and retail represented 11% each. 

By age, 24% of claims filed were by people ages 25 to 34. Claimants ages 35 to 44 represented 21%, those ages 45 to 54 were 20% and young people under age 25 represented 14%. Claims filed were evenly split between women and men.

Laid-off Idaho workers filed four times more claims than during the same week in 2019 and 4% more than the 3,655 average weekly claims filed during the height of the Great Recession in 2009. Continued claims for the week ending Sep. 5 were two times higher than the same week last year, but 61% below the 2009 weekly average of 33,728.

The department paid out $41.9 million in claims during the week ending Sept. 5, up from $9.3 million for the week ending Aug. 29. The large increase during the week of Sept. 5 is because of initial payments of the Lost Wages Assistance program which paid out $33.8 million. Regular state benefit payouts were $2.9 million, down from $3.4 million the previous week, but 3.5 times higher than the same week in 2019. Of the CARES Act programs, Pandemic Extended Unemployment Compensation payments paid out $2 million, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance paid out $2.6 million and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation paid out just $.6 million.

Total benefit payments to laid-off Idahoans attributed to COVID-19 reached $846 million. Regular state unemployment insurance benefits made up $192 million of the total, with PEUC benefits at $25 million, PUA benefits at $60 million and FPUC payments at $535.2 million and LWA benefits at $33.8 million.

Weekly claims by county and industry are available on Idaho’s claim data dashboard at

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