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Do you remember Idaho's unemployment rate just as the recession was being noticed? It was 3%. The National Bureau of Economic Research said the great recession started in December 2007 and ended in June 2009. Since those declarations, Idaho's unemployment rate climbed to its peak of 8.8% in August 2010. By August 2011 it had dropped to 8.4%, and by August 2012 it was down to 7%.

Unemployment Claims Spike For Second Straight Week

Initial jobless claims in Idaho jumped 143% last week, after increasing 1,200% the week before. 

Nearly 33,000 Idahoans filed initial unemployment claims the week ending March 28. More than 46,000 have filed in the last two weeks. Craig Shaul is the Analyst Supervisor at the Idaho Department of Labor.

"It's quite humbling actually seeing all the numbers come in and having us try to put some sort of meeting to this," he said Thursday.

Shaul's department has released an online dashboard showing the breakdown of claims by county, job classification and sector, in addition to standard demographics like age. 

About one-third of claims have come from the Boise metro area. The service industry has been hit especially hard, reflected in the age of filers. About half in the last two weeks are 35 or younger. But, Shaul says, not every sector continued to shed jobs last week.

“Information and transportation, warehousing [all] had fewer claims than they did the week before - although it's still larger than what they experienced two weeks before.”

In Blaine County, where officials tightened restrictions on which businesses were essential March 27, construction jobs accounted for one-third of claims last week. Elsewhere in the state, many construction sites remain active and claims from that sector were not as high.

Across the board, data show layoffs in retail and sales, and administrative support jobs jumped substantially. 

Department of Labor officials have urged the public to go online to file and find answers to general questions, as they continue to get more phone calls than they can handle.