According to the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average unemployment rate during the month of July dropped to 7.4 percent, a decline in the national average of two-tenths of a percent. Precise unemployment data for the state of Idaho are not yet available for the month of July, but there are Idaho figures available for unemployment claims, food stamps and Medicaid recipients.
According to Niki Forbing-Orr, spokesperson for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, there was fluctuation in the number of food stamp and Medicaid recipients in Idaho during the second quarter of the year.
In April, Idaho reported 231,020 food stamp recipients and 249,932 Medicaid recipients. In May there were 229,562 receiving food stamps and 250,095 recipients of Medicaid. June saw 226,960 Idahoans receiving food stamps with 249,965 receiving Medicaid benefits.
Forbing-Orr noted to Idaho Reporter.com that “Medicaid participant counts are a point in time and will likely change because clients can become approved for retroactive coverage.”
Idaho unemployment, and unemployment benefits requests: According to Bob Fick, spokesperson for the Idaho Department of Labor, Idaho’s unemployment in April dropped to 6.1 percent. It had held at 6.2 percent in February and March. In May, unemployment rose to 6.2 percent and in June rose again to 6.4 percent.
Despite the rise in unemployment, Fick told IdahoReporter.com that the number of “initial” (newly requested) unemployment benefits claims declined in the same period. In April, there were 8,372 initial requests; in May the number dropped to 6,204, and then dropped again to 5,662 in June.
Total numbers of unemployment benefit recipients for the second quarter have not yet been made available.
Both Medicaid and food stamps are federal assistance programs administered by state government agencies. In Idaho, the state Department of Health and Welfare administers them both.