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Colorado estimates 6,700 new unemployment claims

Labor officials report only $9.6 million in regular unemployment benefits were paid out last week, and said new identification requirements are contributing.

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) estimates 6,718 initial unemployment insurance (UI) claims were filed when adjusting for fraud and $9.6 million in benefits were paid out the week ending April 17.

CDLE also said 1,310 initial Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims were filed the same week.

> Video above: System flagged claims with real people forcing them to go sans pay.

For the week end ending April 10, there were 209,232 requests for continued weeks including 63,260 for regular UI, 61,752 for PUA and 84,220 for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).

CDLE estimates those continued claims were filed by about 170,728 individuals.

The recent decrease in continued claims and benefits paid out is due to new extended identification requirements through ID.me, according to CDLE.

Since mid-March of 2020, CDLE estimates 916,379 initial UI claims have been filed, and a total of 1,183,542 claims including the PUA program.

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

Unemployment benefits paid in Colorado between March 29, 2020 and April 17, 2021

  • Regular UI: $2.89 billion
  • PUA (gig workers/self-employed): $1.32 billion
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation ($300/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants): $3.45 billion
  • PEUC (extends unemployment benefits by an additional 11 weeks): $800.5 million
  • State Extended Benefits (extends unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks): $32.1 million
  • Lost Wages Assistance ($300/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants, fall 2020): $389.2 million

  • Total: $8.87 billion

RELATED: More than $19 million lost to fraud, Colorado labor department says

The number of Americans applying for unemployment aid fell last week to 547,000, a new low since the pandemic struck and a further encouraging sign that layoffs are slowing on the strength of an improving job market.

The U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday that applications declined 39,000 from a revised 586,000 a week earlier. Weekly jobless claims are down sharply from a peak of 900,000 in early January. At the same time, they're still far above the roughly 250,000 level that prevailed before the viral outbreak ripped through the economy in March of last year.

About 17.4 million people were continuing to collect unemployment benefits in the week that ended April 3, the latest period for which data is available, up from 16.9 million in the previous week.

RELATED: US jobless claims drop to 547,000, a new post-pandemic low

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