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Boise State Public Radio News is here to keep you current on the news surrounding COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Idaho Unemployment Surpasses 117K, New Benefit Program Online

Scott Lowe

New unemployment claims in Idaho have surpassed 117,000 since mid-March, double the number filed all last year. 

More than 8,800 new claims were filed last week, the third straight week of a decline. The service industry remains the hardest hit sector overall, but last week, healthcare and social assistance workers accounted for 19% of the state's jobless claims.


Since the last week of March, the state Department of Labor says it has paid more than $45 million in unemployment benefits. But many potential filers continue to report frustration with long hold times and unexplained denials or delays in receiving benefits.


Thursday, the agency announced it is now accepting applications for the federal CARES Act extended unemployment, which adds 13 weeks of income for unemployed workers who have exhausted their regular benefit period.


Out-of-work sole proprietors, independent contractors and other workers who would not normally qualify for unemployment benefits can file through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, but the state Department of Labor said payments were not going to be available until mid-May.


Find more information at labor.idaho.gov


Follow Troy Oppie on Twitter @GoodBadOppie for more local news.

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