IDAHO – Idaho’s new claims for unemployment insurance benefits are down 23% over the week ending August 1, according to the Idaho Department of Labor.

Continued claims – or the number of people who already requested benefit payments – dropped by 4% from the previous week, making it the 13th consecutive week of declines.

Manufacturing, accommodation, and food services employees represented more than a quarter of initial claims filed. Health care and social assistance industries represented 13% of claims, while retail trade came in with 11% of the new filings.

Laid-off Idaho workers filed five times more claims than those filed during the same week in 2019 and just slightly less than the 3,655 average claims filed each week during the height of the Great Recession in 2009.  Continued claims for the week ending Aug. 1 were four times higher than the same week last year, but 25% below the 2009 weekly average of 33,728.

Total benefit payments to laid-off Idahoans attributed to COVID-19 have reached $752 million. For more information on weekly unemployment claims by county and industry, visit