Department has also begun paying out benefits under the CARES Act including benefits to self employed.
(DENVER) -- Thursday the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) announced there were 67,334 initial unemployment claims filed the week ending April 18. This is compared to 104,217 the week prior (week ending April 11). Over the past four weeks 279,199 initial claims have been filed. 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.*
April 20, CDLE launched a new online application to begin taking claims from self-employed, gig workers and those otherwise not eligible for regular unemployment due to COVID-19. Since Monday, the new application has received more than 30,000 claims.
CDLE also began paying Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) this week. PUC provides an additional $600/week of unemployment to every eligible claimant (regular UI and PUA). PUC is added to the claimants benefit amount and paid with their regular benefits after their weekly certification. Claimants do not need to take action to receive their additional benefit amount.
Claims by industry and benefits paid
Top 5 industries with highest claims:**
Accommodation and Food Services: 12,967
Retail Trade: 10,295
Healthcare and Social Service: 8,932
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation: 3,893
Other Services:*** 3,781
Online payment requests made since March 16: 150,000+
Benefits paid for week ending April 18: $74.1 Million
Benefits paid for week ending April 11: $62.0 Million
Benefits paid for week ending April 4: $29.8 Million
Average 2020 weekly benefits paid for weeks prior: $8.7 Million
Recession comparison of benefits paid:
During the height of the Great Recession (2009-10), $19 million in benefits were paid out on an average weekly basis. $102.8 million in benefits were paid out in May 2009, the highest monthly total on record.
* 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 4th.
*** Other services include personal services like nail and beauty salons, barbers, etc.