Idaho Unemployment insurance claims paid to jobless workers during the third week of November dropped 34 percent from a year ago, the Idaho Department of Labor reported Tuesday.
The amount of benefits paid out fell 29 percent from $2.65 million in 2012 to $1.88 million.
The Idaho Department of Labor paid 7,462 regular unemployment insurance benefit claims during the week, nearly 3,800 fewer than last year and 14 fewer than the same week in 2006. It was the first time since the recession that the number of claims paid dropped below the levels of 2006, when the state economy was in the midst of a strong expansion.
While the number of claims paid during the third week of November was lower than in 2006, the amount paid was still 23 percent higher because the average benefit is $25 higher this year at $255, reflecting wage increases over the past seven years.
In addition to regular unemployment benefits, the department also paid $585,000 in federally financed extended benefits to 2,500 long-term unemployed workers during the third week of November. Those extended benefits will end on Dec. 31.