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Press Release: State Labor Dept Update for the Week Ending January 2nd: UI Claims and Featured Job Openings this Week

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For Immediate Release
Date: January 7, 2021
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations -

State Labor Dept Update for the Week Ending January 2nd: UI Claims and Featured Job Openings this Week

(DENVER) -- Today the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) reported that 41,439 regular initial unemployment claims were filed the week ending January 2nd. The Department attributes the increase of regular UI claims to a number of factors including quarter change, seasonal filings and claim reopens but the majority are likely fraud due to abnormalities in the data. As reported earlier this week, the increase in reports of UI fraud is likely connected to the expiration of CARES Act programs. Reports of UI fraud by victims have increased proportionately with the increase in regular UI claims. The Department will be conducting further detailed analysis on the increase and will provide additional updates in the future UI claims and workload press releases. To report fraud go to

No Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims were filed the week ending January 2nd due to the expiration of the CARES Act.* Any COVID-19 impacted worker that was receiving federal CARES Act unemployment assistance is not able to file or receive benefits since these programs were ended on December 26th. Any new programs authorized by the Continued Assistance Act will be implemented when all federal guidance is received and systems are programmed to administer these new benefits.  

Since mid-March, a total of 773,558 regular initial unemployment claims have been filed and a grand total of 1,025,482 claims, including federal PUA benefits.**

For the week ending December 26th, a combined total of 277,616 continued claims were filed from the regular UI (109,373), PUA (97,585), and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (70,658) programs.*** Weekly initial and continued claims figures can be viewed in the attached PDF at the bottom of this press release.

Benefits paid since March 29: 

Regular UI $2.50 Billion
Week ending January 2 $45.5 Million                                           

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
(gig workers/self-employed) $1.05 Billion

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
($600/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants) $2.51 Billion

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
(extends unemployment benefits by up to 13 weeks) $349.9 Million

State Extended Benefits
(extends unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks) $29.7 Million

Lost Wages Assistance                                                          
($300/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants) $389.2 Million

Total $6.82 Billion


Claims by industry (most recent data available)

Top 10 industries with highest initial claims for week ending December 19th  
#1 Healthcare and Social Assistance: 2,070 (11.2% of claims for week)
#2 Education Services: 1,996 (10.8%)
#3 Construction: 1,938 (10.4%)
#4 Accommodation and Food Services: 1,762 (9.5%)
#5 Professional and Technical Services: 1,710 (9.2%)
#6 Public Administration: 1,249 (6.7%)
#7 Administrative and Support and
     Waste Management and Remediation Services: 1,229 (6.6%)
#8 Retail Trade: 1,125 (6.1%)    
#9 Manufacturing: 946 (5.1%)    
#10 Finance and Insurance: 819 (4.4%)

Helping Coloradans with Reemployment Support:
Trainings and Resources for Job Seekers

CDLE and its partners hold regular, no-cost training that can help unemployed Coloradans get rehired. A sampling of events is below and a complete list of events, workshops and training opportunities is available on the CDLE website. Workers are also encouraged to contact their local Workforce Center to find no-cost services from their expert staff. Find your local Workforce Center here.

Trainings and Resources for Job Seekers
January 11, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm: Denver Workforce Services “Now Hiring!” Series
January 12, 9:00 am - 10:00 am: Workshop: Interview Skills
January 13, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm: Career Kickstart
January 14, 9:00 am - 10:00 am: LinkedIn Workshop

Who’s Hiring

There are more than 70,000 jobs available in, the state’s jobs database.

  • Total number of open jobs (1/6/2021): 70,013
  • Job titles posted most often (data from late December): 
    • CDL-A truck drivers (4,365)
    • Registered nurses (985)
    • Customer service representatives (926) 
  • Industries hiring: 
    • While many industries are hiring, the top three were:
    • Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services (27,894)
    • Professional, scientific, and technical services (21,026)
    • Retail trade (19,603)

*PUA, which was established through the CARES Act, ended on December 26th, but was extended through March 13th via the Continued Assistance Act. Initial claims for PUA may show up as zero for many weeks, as CDLE undergoes UI modernization efforts as well as the implementation of various Continued Assistance Act programs.

**Initial claims are claims filed to establish or reestablish benefit eligibility. Initial claims are typically 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.

Continued claims can be used as a proxy to roughly estimate the number of claimants receiving UI benefits in a given week. However, the Department does produce a report that captures the number of UI payment recipients on a monthly basis. The monthly data can be viewed in the final pages of the attached PDF at the bottom of this press release and has been updated through December 2020.


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