State Labor Department: More Than 60,000 Initial Unemployment Claims Filed March

For immediate release

Date: April 2, 2020
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations -

(DENVER) -- Today the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) announced there were 61,583 initial unemployment claims filed the week ending March 28, 2020. This is more than three times the number of initial unemployment claims filed the week ending March 21, 2020, which was 19,745. The initial claims numbers are those weekly claims that are reported to the U.S. Department of Labor every week for the week prior and do not reflect all applications filed for unemployment.*

For historical reference, during the Great Recession, the week with the highest initial claims was during 2010, with 7,749 claims the week ending January 9. Today’s release of initial claims is eight times greater than the peak period during the Recession.

While today’s release shows the dramatic workload increase to the State’s unemployment insurance program, the full economic impact of COVID-19 may not be fully presented until March or April jobs numbers, according to Ryan Gedney, Senior Economist for CDLE. March data will be released Friday, April 17th at 8 am.

A more detailed analysis, including industry data, will be presented during a press call by the Department at 10 AM, Thursday, April 2. Contact Cher Haavind at for details.

* 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.