Press Release: State Labor Dept: $2.2 Billion in Unemployment Benefits Paid Since March 29th

For Immediate Release

Date: June 11, 2020
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations -

(DENVER) -- Today the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) announced it has paid out $2.2 billion in unemployment benefits since March 29th. That amount includes regular unemployment benefits, those filing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC), which provides eligible claimants an extra $600 in federal benefits each week. 

The Department announced a total of 12,941 initial regular unemployment claims filed the week ending June 6, up slightly from 12,149 the week prior. In addition, there were 10,151 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial unemployment claims (gig worker, self-employed) filed May 31 - June 6. This is up from 6,414 the week prior (week ending May 30). Over the past twelve weeks, a total of 446,493 regular unemployment initial claims have been filed and a grand total of 540,506 claims including federal PUA benefits.*

Today the Department also launched a new resource page on its website around work search requirements to help provide guidance to claimants on what is required to maintain their UI eligibility while they are unemployed. Previously, work search requirements were waived due to the Governor’s “Stay at Home” and “Safer at Home” Executive Orders.

Claimants who are job attached, meaning they will return to their current employer, are not required to look for work. Claimants who are not returning to their employer, including independent contractors, must conduct a valid work search to maintain their eligibility for benefits. Independent contractors, self-employed and gig workers must now maintain an active work search effort to continue their eligibility. This would include efforts to obtain new clients or expand an individual’s business or to establish an account with online or app-based platforms with the intent of accepting work from that platform.

CDLE is helping unemployed workers return to work by directing UI claimants to a variety of reemployment support and assistance. A new weekly resource on looking for work titled, “Finding a Job During COVID-19: Trends You Need to Know” is shared on CDLE’s social media channels and, the state’s jobs database, currently has more than 35,000 active job listings in industries including healthcare, retail, sales and information technology. Users can also search “location-neutral” job opportunities, a workforce recruitment trend providing more remote-work options. CDLE also recently partnered with OnwardUS to launch OnwardCo, a one-stop resource which includes support services including job listings, links to training resources and more. 

Benefits paid since March 29: 
Regular UI: $796.1 Million

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (gig workers/self employed): $227.0 Million
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation ($600/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants): Apx. $1.17 Billion
Total: $2.2 Billion

Industries 6-10: 
Construction: 656 (5.6%)  
Education Services: 635 (5.5%)
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation: 583 (5.0%)
Transportation and Warehousing: 569 (4.9%)
Professional and Technical Services: 537 (4.6%)

* Initial claims are those claims filed to establish benefit eligibility. Initial claims are considered a reliable leading indicator of economic activity. All applications filed are those applications for benefits filed with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and may not have been through various eligibility determination e.g. wage verification, etc. 

Most recent industry-level claims data is for the week ending May 23rd.

Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services include temporary help services, telemarketing centers, janitorial and landscaping services, etc.

Colorado Unemployment Insurance Charts Through June 6, 2020