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Colorado reports more than 17,000 weekly unemployment claims

The state's labor department reports distributing $6.30 billion in benefits since March 29.

COLORADO, USA — The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) reported more than 17,000 initial claims for unemployment last week as many businesses continue to face increased restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

CLDE reported 17,130 regular unemployment insurance (UI) claims for the week ending in Nov. 28. The week before, 15,219 UI claims were filed in the state. 

Since the pandemic was declared in mid-March, a total of 643,484 regular initial unemployment claims have been filed, according to CDLE. 

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial and continued claims for previous weeks were revised recently after the department completed a deep-dive fraud analysis into PUA activity. 

CDLE said PUA initial claims were revised down to a combined total of 11,667 for the period between Sept. 27 to Nov. 7.

PUA claims for subsequent weeks: 

  • Week ending Nov. 14 (4,188)
  • Week ending Nov. 21 (7,369) 
  • Week ending Nov. 28 (14,242)

For the week ending Nov. 21, CDLE said a combined total of 208,330 continued claims were filed from the regular UI (79,121), PUA (62,403), and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (66,806) programs.

CDLE began issuing a $375 one-time stimulus benefit this week to eligible claimants. The automatic, one-time checks are going to those who received up to $500 a week in weekly unemployment insurance benefits from March 15 to Oct. 24. About 435,000 Coloradans are eligible.

>>Colorado unemployment insurance charts through Nov. 28 

Benefits paid since March 29, according to CDLE: 

  • Regular UI: $2.3 billion
  • PUA (gig workers/self-employed): $854.2 million
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
    ($600 a week in extra UI benefits to eligible claimants): $2.5 billion
  • PEUC (extends unemployment benefits by up to 13 weeks): $240.7 million
  • State Extended Benefits (extends unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks): $21.6 million
  • Lost Wages Assistance program ($300 a week in extra UI benefits to eligible claimants from the federal government): $379 million
  • Total: $6.30 billion

Industries with highest initial claims for the week ending Nov. 28, according to CDLE: 

  1. Accommodation and Food Services: 1,387(20.2% of claims that week)
  2. Construction: 789 (11.5%)
  3. Healthcare and Social Assistance: 657 (9.6%)
  4. Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services: 630 (9.2%)
  5. Retail Trade: 563 (8.2%) 
  6. Professional and Technical Services: 385 (5.6%)
  7. Education Services: 342 (5%)
  8. Manufacturing: 313 (4.6%) 
  9. Transportation and Warehousing: 278 (4.1%)
  10. Other services: 258 (3.8%)

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to a still-high 712,000, the latest sign that the U.S. economy and job market remain under stress from the intensified viral outbreak. 

Thursday's report from the U.S. Department of Labor said that initial claims for jobless aid dropped from 787,000 the week before. Before the virus paralyzed the economy in March, the number of people applying for unemployment benefits each week had typically amounted to roughly 225,000.

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