State Labor Department: More than 25,000 Unemployment Claims Filed MAY 10 - MAY 16

For immediate release

Date: May 21, 2020
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations -

(Total includes both regular unemployment and federal benefit claims filed)

NOTE: Tomorrow, May 22nd, we will be releasing our monthly employment situation for April. We will not have a press call today for today’s release but will have a press call tomorrow at 10 AM for the monthly release.

(DENVER) -- Today the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) announced there were 17,825 initial regular unemployment claims filed the week ending May 16. This is compared to 22,483 the week prior (week ending May 9). This is the fifth week in a row of gradual declines in regular unemployment claims.  

In addition, there were 7,633 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial unemployment claims (gig worker, self-employed) filed May 10 - 16. Over the past nine weeks a total of 405,800 regular unemployment initial claims have been filed and a grand total of 476,613 claims including federal PUA benefits.* 

Claims by industry and benefits paid 

Top 5 industries with highest claims:** 
Accommodation and Food Services: 4,008
Retail Trade:                                                                           2,811
Healthcare and Social Service: 2,288  
Administrative and Support and
Waste Management and Remediation Services:***               1,666
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation:                         1,542

Benefits paid: Regular UI
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

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

Benefits paid and claims filed April 20 - May 16: 
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance 
(gig workers/self employed)                                                   $132.4 Million

Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Approx. $700 Million

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance 
initial claims since April 20:           70,813

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.

* 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 2nd.

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