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.
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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.
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.
CDLE also highlighted upcoming virtual events for jobseekers:
- 2 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Job Seeker Webinar Workshop (Northwest)
- 11 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Denver Workforce Services: "Now Hiring" Series
- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Denver Regional Virtual Career Fair Event
- 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, LinkedIn Basics Webinar
- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Virtual Veterans Employment & Resource Expo
- 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Friday, phone interviews workshop
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