Daily Camera (Boulder)
Claims in state increase to 5,892
An additional 5,892 people filed for traditional unemployment benefits in the week ending Oct. 3, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said Thursday, an increase of just more than 1,000 from the week prior.
State labor officials use 5,000claims-per-week as a benchmark because that was the weekly average of claims made during the height of the Great Recession during 2009 and 2010.
A total of 2,309 people in Colorado applied for state-level Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in the week ending Oct. 3, which is assistance for gig workers, the self-employed and others who wouldn’t normally qualify for regular benefits. That amounts to a drop of a little more than 100 from the week before.
The number of regular continuing claims was at 126,274 Coloradans in the week ending Sept. 19, amounting to a drop of about 17,000 people. Continued claims for pandemic-specific assistance was at 64,741 as of Oct. 3.
Meanwhile, a state-led emergency unemployment compensation program rose sharply from 27,338 recipients in the week of Sept. 26 to 44,183 in the week ending Oct. 3.
The amount of regular benefits paid out by the department declined by $6.6 million from the prior week to $48 million.
In a call with reporters, CDLE senior economist Ryan Gedney said 692,000 Coloradans have received some kind of benefit from the state in 2020, amounting to about 22% of the state’s workforce in 2019.
Nationwide, the U.S. Labor Department said 840,000 Americans filed for first-time benefits in the week, a slight increase from 837,000 from the week prior.
Those figures are not directly comparable to the last several months of national claims figures because of a change in how the federal agency adjusts for seasonal employment. State labor officials do not seasonally adjust their weekly claims alongside the U.S. Department of Labor’s figures.