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Colorado estimates nearly 4,500 new unemployment claims

The state's labor department also reports $12.7 million in unemployment benefits were paid out last week.

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) estimated there were 4,472 initial regular unemployment insurance (UI) claims after adjusting for fraud, and $12.7 Million in benefits were paid out the week ending May 1.

CDLE also reported 618 initial Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims filed the same week.

> Video above: Tech upgrades lead to delays for some receiving unemployment benefits.

There were 196,607 requests for continued weeks the week ending April 24 including 61,105 for UI, 52,898 for PUA and 82,604 for the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program. CDLE estimates those requests were made by 163,895 individuals.

Since mid-March of 2020, an estimated 926,676 regular UI claims have been filed, and a total of 1,195,287 claims have been filed including the PUA program.

Beginning the week ending April 10, CDLE said the decline in claims and benefits paid out is partially due to the expansion of ID.me identity verification requirements to all claimants.

CDLE said it adopted a new emergency rule this week that allows it to disqualify claimants if they do not show up to a scheduled interview, a scheduled exam, the first scheduled day of new work or do not complete required pre-employment activities.

The rule also allows disqualification if false or incorrect information is knowingly provided during an interview that would cause a applicant to be considered unqualified for a job.

RELATED: ID.me: Colorado unemployment verification system doesn't work for everyone

Unemployment benefits paid out in Colorado from March 31, 2020 through May 1, 2021

  • Regular UI: $2.92 billion
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (gig workers/self-employed): $1.34 billion
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation ($300/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants): $3.56 billion
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (extends unemployment benefits an additional 29 weeks): $860.7 million
  • State Extended Benefits (extends unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks): $32.6 million
  • Lost Wages Assistance ($300/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants, fall 2020): $389.2 million

  • Total: $9.09 billion

RELATED: US unemployment claims fall to a pandemic low of 498,000

The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to 498,000, the lowest point since the viral pandemic struck 14 months ago and a sign of the job market's growing strength as businesses reopen and consumers step up spending.

Thursday's report from the U.S. Department of Labor showed that applications declined 92,000 from a revised 590,000 a week earlier. The number of weekly jobless claims — a rough measure of the pace of layoffs — has declined significantly from a peak of 900,000 in January as employers have ramped up hiring.

At the same time, the pace of applications is still well above the roughly 230,000 level that prevailed before the viral outbreak tore through the economy in March of last year.

As vaccinations have been more widely administered, restrictions on businesses have gradually lifted and consumers have become more willing to travel, shop and dine out, stronger spending has boosted hiring, slowed layoffs and accelerated growth. The economy grew last quarter at a vigorous 6.4% annual rate, with expectations that the current quarter will be even better.

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