CO Labor Dept.: 5,025 additional Coloradans filed for regular unemployment last week

DENVER — An additional 5,025 people filed for traditional unemployment benefits in the week ending Sept. 12, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said Thursday, a decline of 812 from the week prior. A total of 1,533 people in Colorado applied for state-level Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in that week, 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 683 from the week prior. The department did not hold its usual weekly call with reporters on Thursday because it plans to release statewide and county-level unemployment rates for August on Friday. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance at the federal level, along with a $600 per week additional benefit for all claims, expired in August with both chambers of Congress and the White House deadlocked on additional stimulus. In lieu of a congressional deal, President Donald Trump signed executive orders in previous weeks that among other actions diverts $40 billion in federal disaster funding to give most unemployment claimants $400 per week through the end of December, with the first $100 being paid by the state. Colorado was approved in recent weeks to tap into that funding for five weeks, but the state closed its web application system to certify applicants for that additional federal benefit this week to shore up its ability to meet demand. It’s unclear when the agency will be able to bring that functionality back up, but it said the tool being shut down won’t lead to applicants being ineligible for payments in future weeks. The number of regular continuing claims was at 156,511 Coloradans in the week ending Sept. 5, amounting to a drop of 9,248. The number of continued claims for pandemic-specific assistance was at 59,912 as of Sept. 12, a drop of 2,923 from the week prior. The amount of regular benefits paid out by the department was unchanged from the prior week at $58.3 million. Nationwide, the U.S. Labor Department said 860,000 Americans filed for first-time benefits in the week, a slight decline from 884,000 from the week prior. Those figures are not directly comparable to the last several months of national claims figures due to a change in how the department adjusts for seasonal employment. State labor officials do not seasonally adjust their weekly claims alongside the U.S. Department of Labor’s figures. © 2020 BizWest Media LLC  
Source: BizWest

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