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Idaho sees more unemployment claims last month than all 2019

April 16, 2020 GMT

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — More Idaho residents have filed for unemployment in the last four weeks than in all of 2019, according to the Idaho Department of Labor.

Nearly 96,000 Idaho residents have filed for unemployment since Idaho Gov. Brad Little declared a state of emergency on March 13 because of the coronavirus, according to the department. That’s 60 percent more initial claims than were filed last year.

Little followed the emergency declaration with a statewide stay-at-home order on March 25. That order currently extends through the end of April.

Layoffs related to the coronavirus are affecting people of all ages from multiple industries. Nearly half of the claims in the past month have come from employees in the accommodations and food services, health care social assistance and retail trade sectors, according to the labor department. Roughly $17.5 million in unemployment payments have been paid out between March 8 and April 11.

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Idaho had 1,587 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally, and at least 41 deaths. However, because of very limited testing, the actual number of residents with COVID-19 is believed to be much higher.