State Labor Department: More than 31,000 Unemployment Claims Filed MAY 3 - MAY 9

For immediate release

Date: May 14th, 2020
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations -

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

(DENVER) -- Today the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) announced there were 22,483 initial regular unemployment claims filed the week ending May 9. This is compared to 28,164 the week prior (week ending May 2). This is the fourth week in a row of gradual declines in regular unemployment claims.  

In addition, there were 9,125 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial unemployment claims (gig worker, self-employed) filed May 3 - 9. Over the past eight weeks a total of 387,975 regular unemployment initial claims have been filed and a grand total of 451,155 claims including federal PUA benefits.* 

Claims by industry and benefits paid 
Top 5 industries with highest claims:** 
Accommodation and Food Services:                                     4,624
Retail Trade:                                                                           4,010
Healthcare and Social Service:                                              3,009  
Administrative and Support and
Waste Management and Remediation Services:***               1,944
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation:                                     1,550

Benefits paid: Regular UI
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 9: 
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance 
(gig workers/self employed)                                                   $101.8 Million

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance 
initial claims since April 20:                                                      63,180

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 April 25th.

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