The number of Idahoans who filed a continued claim for unemployment insurance benefits fell for the 23rd consecutive week, dropping 8 percent for the week ending Oct. 10, to 8,386, the Idaho Department of Labor reported. The four-week moving average for continued claims also fell by 8 percent—down from 10,314 for the week ending Oct. 3, to 9,533.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits totaled 3,519 for the week ending Oct. 10, increasing by 564 claims, as the four-week moving average fell by just 1 percent, to 3,227.

The department paid out $6.3 million in claims during the week ending Oct. 10, down from $7.1 million for the week ending Oct. 3. Regular state benefit payouts were $1.9 million, down from $2 million for the previous week, but 2.3 times higher than the same week in 2019. Of the CARES Act programs, Pandemic Extended Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) paid out $1.6 million, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) paid out $2.4 million and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) paid out $400,000.

Total benefit payments to laid-off Idahoans attributed to COVID-19 have reached $889.5 million, the department stated. Regular state unemployment insurance benefits made up $202.8 million of the total, with PEUC benefits at $33.8 million, PUA benefits at $72 million, FPUC benefits at $538.3 million and Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) benefits at $42.6 million. LWA payments ended Sept. 30.

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