Printed on: September 07, 2013

State unemployment insurance payments are the lowest in 6 years


POST REGISTER

Idaho unemployment insurance payments dropped below 10,000 during the first week in September, the first time weekly benefit payments have been that low since the end of November 2007.

The Idaho Department of Labor's weekly jobless benefit report showed 6,774

regular benefit payments for just under $1.66 million. In addition, there were 2,874 federal extended benefit payments for $639,000.

Payments in the final week of August totaled 10,679 for more than $2.5 million, according to a Department of Labor news release.

During the final week of November 2007, 9,269 unemployment payments were made totaling just under $2.3 million.

"There were no federal extended benefits at that time, and both payments and amounts were trending up as the economy slowed toward the recession, which officially began at the end of 2007," the news release said.

Since 2007, the department has paid nearly $2.4 billion in state and federal unemployment benefits to hundreds of thousands of Idaho workers.

In March 2009, at the depth of the recession, an average of 50,000 workers a week received $54 million in state and federal benefits.

The last time benefit payments dropped under 10,000, the state's unemployment rate stood at 3.3 percent. The rate hit 8.8 percent by the end of 2010 and fell to 6.1 percent this spring before staring to climb again. The state unemployment rate stood at 6.6 percent in July.