Press Release: Update for the Week Ending February 20th: UI Claims and Reemployment Support

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For Immediate Release

Date: February 25, 2021
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations -

State Labor Dept. Update for the Week Ending February 20th: UI Claims and Reemployment Support

(DENVER) -- Today the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) reported that an estimated 14,977 regular initial unemployment claims were filed the week ending February 20th. Since mid-March 2020, an estimated total of 832,982 regular initial unemployment claims have been filed. There were also 8,014 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims filed for the week ending February 20th.* (Note: PUA initial claim figures for last week include reopened claims related to Phase 1 claimants as well as new and reopened claims tied to the Phase 2 rollout on February 20th).

For the week ending February 13th, a combined total of 186,575 continued claims were filed from the regular UI (71,617), PUA (76,330), and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) (38,628) programs. CDLE estimates those continued claims were filed by approximately 118,802 individuals (64,723 for regular UI; 32,427 for PUA, and 21,652 for PEUC).** Weekly initial and continued claims figures can be viewed in the attached PDF at the end of this press release.

Additional data

Benefits paid March 29, 2020 - February 20, 2021:
Weekly amounts for non regular UI programs can be viewed in the attached PDF at the end of this press release.
Phase 2 payment data will be incorporated in next week’s press release

Regular UI: $2.70 Billion
Week ending February 20: $24.4 Million                                        

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
(gig workers/self-employed): $1.12 Billion

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
($600/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants, CARES Act;
 $300/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants, CAA): $2.76 Billion

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
(extends unemployment benefits by up to 13 weeks, CARES Act;
 extends additional 11 weeks, CAA): $433.0 Million

State Extended Benefits
(extends unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks): $30.2 Million

Lost Wages Assistance                             
($300/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants, fall 2020): $389.2 Million

Total: $7.43 Billion


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

Trainings and Resources for Job Seekers
February 26, 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm: Phone Interviews
March 1, 11:00 am - 11:30 am: Denver Workforce Services: “Now Hiring!” series
March 2, 2 pm - 3 pm: Job Seeker Webinar -- Northwest
March 3, 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm: How to Network
March 4, 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm: Resumes Part 1
March 5, 11 am - 12 pm: HOPE: Helping Offenders Pursue Employment (in person): 
918 10th St, Greeley, CO 80631

Who’s Hiring

There are more than 81,000 jobs available in, the state’s jobs database.

  • Total number of open jobs (2/24/21): 81,998
  • Job titles posted most often (2/18/21):  
    • CDL-A truck drivers (2,979)
    • Customer service representatives (820) 
    • Registered nurses (749)
  • Industries hiring: 
    While many industries are hiring, the top three were (2/18/21): 
    • Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services (24,864)
    • Professional, scientific, and technical services (17,659)
    • Retail trade (15,333)

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and the Office of the Future of Work publish articles to share hiring trends and highlight online and in-person resources to connect workers with meaningful employment. This week, we’ll give you an update on last week’s job postings and share the OFOW's first annual report. Read the latest article here.


Updates to detailed initial and continued unemployment claims data that have been available here, will be delayed for an indeterminate period of time. The delay is due to the modernization of Colorado’s unemployment insurance system and impacts to underlying reports that are used to generate these datasets. 

*Initial claims are claims filed to establish (via a new initial claim) or reestablish (through an additional initial claim after an intervening period of employment and/or a break in PUA and PEUC eligibility prior to the implementation of the Continued Assistance Act) 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.

As previously reported, the Department has identified an increase in reports of UI fraud that is likely connected to the expiration of CARES Act programs. Therefore, initial claims for the week ending February 20th have been adjusted in an attempt to account for fraudulent activity within regular UI. Going forward, CDLE will adjust regular UI initial claims data for fraudulent activity, as well as publish revisions to prior weeks, when necessary. PUA initial claims are also adjusted to account for fraudulent activity.

**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, backdating of claims within PUA and PEUC (due to the reestablishment of those programs through the Continued Assistance Act) significantly limits the use of continued claims as the aforementioned proxy on a week-to-week basis. For an alternative source, CDLE recommends using the weekly PUA and PEUC individual continued claim counts provided above. The Department also produces a report that captures the number of UI payment recipients, by program type, on a monthly basis. The monthly data can be viewed in the final pages of the attached PDF at the end of this press release and has been updated through January 2021.


Colorado Unemployment Insurance Charts Through Week Ending February 20, 2021
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