State Labor Department: Initial Ui Claims Decline For Sixth Week In A Row

For immediate release

Date: May 28th, 2020
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations -

More than 22,000 regular and federal UI claims filed May 17-23

(DENVER) -- Today the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) announced there were 15,603 initial regular unemployment claims filed the week ending May 23. This is compared to 17,825 the week prior (week ending May 16). This is the sixth week in a row of gradual declines in regular unemployment claims.  

In addition, there were 6,635 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial unemployment claims (gig worker, self-employed) filed May 17 - 23. Over the past ten weeks a total of 421,403 regular unemployment initial claims have been filed and a grand total of 498,851 claims including federal PUA benefits.* 

Claims by industry and benefits paid 

Top 5 industries with highest claims:** 

Accommodation and Food Services: 3,005
Retail Trade: 2,143
Healthcare and Social Service:
Administrative and Support and
Waste Management and Remediation Services:*** 1,377
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation:

Benefits paid: Regular UI

Week ending May 23:                                                            $95.3 Million
Week ending May 16:                                                            $88.8 Million
Week ending May 9:                                                              $96.0 Million
Week ending May 2:                                                              $84.8 Million
Week ending April 25:                                                            $86.1 Million
Week ending April 18:                                                            $74.1 Million
Week ending April 11:
                                                            $62.0 Million
Week ending April 4:                                                              $29.8 Million

Total regular UI benefits paid March 29 - May 23                  $616.8 Million

Average 2020 weekly benefits paid for weeks prior:             $8.7 Million

Recession comparison of regular UI benefits paid:
During the height of the Great Recession (2009-10), $19 million in regular UI benefits were paid out on an average weekly basis. $102.8 million in benefits were paid out in May 2009, the previous highest monthly total on record.  Approximately $315 million in regular UI benefits were paid out in April 2020.

Federal benefits paid and claims filed April 20 - May 23: 

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
(gig workers/self employed)                                                   $161.8 Million

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
($600/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants)                      Apx. $868 Million

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance 
initial claims since April 20:

* 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 9th.

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

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