As a $600 weekly bonus to those seeking unemployment benefits expired, both Idaho and Washington saw fewer initial jobless claims filed during the week of July 19-25.
In Idaho, there were 4,703 new initial claims, which was a decrease of 984 filings from the previous week. Continued claims — the number of people who requested a benefit payment — dropped by 4 percent from the previous week to 26,445, the 12th consecutive week of declines, according to the Idaho Department of Labor.
There were $38.4 million in jobless benefits paid last week in Idaho. Since the start of coronavirus shutdowns in March, a total of $714 million in benefits have been paid out.
In Washington, the number of new claims last week was 28,840, a decline of 1.7 percent from the previous week. More than 1.2 million people have filed claims since early March, and more than $8.7 billion in benefits have been paid.
That $600 weekly bonus from the federal government is technically set to expire today, but the cutoff was effectively last Saturday owing to how states process payments. Congress has not been able to reach agreement on an extension, with the Democratic U.S. House wanting to continue the weekly boost at the same amount and the Republican Senate proposing to scale back the extra aid.