Press Release: State Labor Dept: Initial Regular Unemployment Claims Under 6000 for Second Week in a Row

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For Immediate Release
 

Date: September 10, 2020
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations - cdle_pr@state.co.us


State Labor Dept: Initial Regular  Unemployment Claims Under 6000 for Second Week in a Row

(DENVER) -- Today the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) reported that 5,974 regular initial unemployment claims and 2,216 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims were filed the week ending September 5th. Additionally, 3,253 PUA initial claims were filed the week ending August 29th. Since mid-March, a total of 548,593 regular unemployment initial claims and 156,589 pandemic unemployment assistance claims have been filed. 

Today the Department also announced revisions to PUA initial claims numbers for the weeks of July 18  - August 22, due to the implementation of a new fraud trigger which removed fraudulent claims from weekly totals. Initial PUA claims for that period were revised down from 62,498 to 14,292 after removing fraudulent claims. Since mid-June, the Department has implemented 18 fraud detection triggers for PUA claims which have resulted in preventing an estimated $750 million to over a billion dollars in fraudulent unemployment payments. 

Nationally, the federally-funded Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which provides unemployment benefits to gig workers, independent contractors and those who would otherwise not qualify for regular UI, has been plagued with fraud. Criminals have targeted the PUA program with a variety of fraud schemes and all states have been forced to enhance their fraud detection and prevention efforts. 

For the week ending August 29th, a combined total of 243,028 continued claims were filed, including 161,759 from regular UI, 64,676 from PUA, and 16,593 from Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.** 

The Department also announced it has paid over $4.8 billion in unemployment benefits since March 29th. That amount includes regular unemployment benefits, those filing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and State Extended Benefits (SEB). Both the PEUC and SEB programs extend unemployment benefits by an additional 13 weeks. Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), the extra $600/week federal benefit payment, was paid to all claimants eligible through the week ending July 25th (the expiration date set by Congress). Some FPUC payments may be received after the 25th depending on a claimant’s payment request schedule. 

 


Benefits paid since March 29: 

Regular UI $1.79 Billion

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
(gig workers/self-employed) $584.0 Million


Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
($600/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants) $2.45 Billion

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
(extends unemployment benefits by up to 13 weeks) $43.0 Million

State Extended Benefits
(extends unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks) $227,500

Total $4.87 Billion                                                                             

Claims by industry and benefits paid 

Benefits paid: Regular UI
Week ending September 5: $60.5 Million

Top 10 industries with highest initial claims for week ending August 22nd 
#1 Accommodation and Food Services: 582 (12.3% of claims for week)
#2 Retail Trade: 500 (10.6%)    
#3 Administrative and Support and
     Waste Management and Remediation Services: 488 (10.3%)
#4 Healthcare and Social Assistance: 477 (10.1%)
#5 Construction: 473 (10.0%)    
#6 Manufacturing: 373 (7.9%) 
#7 Professional and Technical Services: 297 (6.3%)
#8 Education Services: 230 (4.9%)
#9 Wholesale Trade: 209 (4.4%)
#10 Other Services: 196 (4.2%)

Colorado county-level initial and continued unemployment claims data released this week for the week ending August 22nd is available here.

* Initial claims are 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. 

**Continued claims are filed to request payment for a given week after eligibility has been established. Weeks claimed provide information as to current labor market conditions.

* Initial claims are 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. 

**Continued claims are filed to request payment for a given week after eligibility has been established. Weeks claimed provide information as to current labor market conditions.

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COLORADO UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE CHARTS THROUGH WEEK ENDING SEPTEMBER 5, 2020