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Colorado UI system restarts work search requirement to get benefits

It's part of a state labor department effort to get people back to work that also includes virtual hiring events, workshops and job search support.

DENVER — As part of an effort to help unemployed Coloradans return to the workforce, the state labor department reinstated the work-search requirement to receive unemployment benefits, the agency said on Monday.

The initiative by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) was tied to a larger effort to get unemployed Coloradans working again and to help employers fill vacancies as restrictions ease on the state's COVID-19 dial.

"It's vitally important that we help get jobless Coloradans back into the workforce," said Joe Barela, CDLE executive director, in a press release. "As businesses in yellow and blue on the COVID-19 dial begin increasing capacity, more employment opportunities will open up for workers."

To that end, as of Feb. 1, those who receive unemployment benefits must document their work-search activities each week when they request payment, CDLE said. The agency recommends at least five work-search activities per week.

> Video above: Amid economic downturn, some sectors are hiring.

The requirement was originally suspended on March 20 as a result of an executive order from Gov. Jared Polis that was then extended several times, CDLE said.

There are more than 76,000 job opportunities on connectingcolorado.com, and the work-search requirement was intended to encourage unemployed Coloradans to apply for those jobs and others, the labor department said.

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Connectingcolorado.com is the state's largest job search database, CDLE said. Some areas of hiring that CDLE highlighted were virtual call centers, local and state government, health care, and restaurants and hospitality.

The "Reemploy Colorado" effort came as the state's unemployment rate increased to 8.4% in December, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE). The number of people employed in Colorado decreased by 24,400 in December to 2,943,400.

RELATED: $260 million in unemployment benefits paid this week as people in phase 2 continue to wait on the extension of federal benefits

CDLE also highlighted upcoming virtual events for jobseekers:

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