About a thousand people in Idaho are still waiting for the department of labor to resolve their pending unemployment claims. Governor Brad Little says the backlog should be cleared up by next week.

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The number of Idahoans filing new initial unemployment claims stayed under 4,000 for the third straight week, but new claims remain nearly four times higher than this time a year ago.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

After fewer businesses than expected applied for help from the state to weather the recent coronavirus shutdown, Idaho is using up to $100 million of that money to push people to go back to work.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

Since January, Idaho’s Workforce Development Council has been working on creating a short-term workforce training program for individuals. Typically, the agency distributes most of its funding, about $5 million last fiscal year, to employers for training. The proposed program would provide up to $2,000 for training in skilled, in-demand jobs like nursing assistants.

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On Friday, Governor Brad Little announced a new $100 million program that will pay workers directly to return to their jobs. Under this program, an Idaho worker on unemployment who returns to full-time work would receive a one-time bonus of $1,500, while someone who works part time would get $750. 

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The number of Idahoans filing initial claims for unemployment continues to decline but remains at historical highs.

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As employers continue to lay off workers at unprecedented levels, every state in the Mountain West has some kind of rent assistance program in place. Low-income housing advocates hope those programs, and their funding, can keep up with the ongoing need.

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Some jobless Idahoans haven’t received unemployment money for 11 weeks. At a virtual town hall Tuesday, Director of Idaho Department of Labor Jani Revier addressed concerns about the delayed unemployment checks.


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In Idaho, polling service Fitch Ratings said more than 14% of the state workforce has filed for unemployment. During the week ending May 2, nearly 72,000 people in Idaho received continuous unemployment benefits. 

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

Troy Oppie / Boise State Public Radio


Nearly 109,000 Idahoans have applied for initial unemployment since mid-March, according to the latest statistics from the Idaho Department of Labor. Thirteen thousand initial unemployment claims were made last week, a 30% drop from the prior week but still 12 times higher than last year’s average.

While many industries are shedding jobs, short-term or temporary staffing companies help manufacturing and food production operations fill labor needs and are still hiring. Troy Oppie reports.

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I missed it by a year.

That’s what I keep telling myself at least. When I graduated last May, I tore off my square hat and skipped off into a stable economy.


St. Luke's Health System


It’s officially been more than a month since the novel coronavirus was first detected in Idaho. 

Between March 15 and April 11, the total number of new unemployment claims in Idaho is nearly 96,000. Numbers from the Idaho Department of Labor Thursday show 18,531 new claims for unemployment insurance last week.

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Idaho businesses are coming together to crush the curve of coronavirus in the state. 

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Eighty percent of Idaho’s economy consists of small businesses, and the coronavirus pandemic is having a huge impact on these companies. Many small business owners are struggling to make sense of the new federal stimulus bill, and the legal implications of the coronavirus. 

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

Applications for unemployment insurance in Idaho are up thirteen hundred percent from just last week. Molly Wampler has more on how the Idaho Department of Labor is addressing this growing need.


coronavirus, covid-19, corona, idahocovid19
Troy Oppie / Boise State Public Radio

Applications for unemployment insurance in Idaho are up 1300% from just last week. 

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In Ohio, more than 48,000 people applied for jobless benefits during the first two days of this week. The tally during the same period the prior week: just 1,825.

It's already been a noteworthy season for Steamboat Ski Resort in Northern Colorado. In October alone, the mountain saw 63 inches of snow, a record high. And that's why the resort's Loryn Duke said it was an easy decision to open on November 15it's earliest opening ever.

Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s unemployment rate continues to tick down, as businesses continue their hiring spree.

The Mountain West has some of the highest teen suicide rates in the country. A new report out of the region looks at what conditions contribute to the high rate of youth suicide. 

IIP Photo Archive / Flickr

Idaho’s job market is riding a 14-month hot streak as the state’s unemployment rate remains below 3 percent.