Idaho unemployment numbers trigger rare extended benefits

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — So many Idaho workers lost jobs so quickly this year due to the coronavirus pandemic that an unemployment extended benefits program will go into effect that was last used during the Great Recession in 2009.

The state Department of Labor said Wednesday that the program will give people receiving weekly unemployment payments up to 13 weeks of additional unemployment insurance beyond the normal 20-week maximum period for payments.

Idaho won’t pay for the extra unemployment payments because a federal program called the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation that’s part of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue package approved by Congress in March offers the extended benefits.