Press Release: Update for the Week Ending February 27th: UI Claims and Reemployment Support

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For Immediate Release

Date: March 4, 2021
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations -

State Labor Dept. Update for the Week Ending February 27th: UI Claims and Reemployment Support

(DENVER) -- Today the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) reported that an estimated 13,034 regular initial unemployment claims were filed the week ending February 27th. Since mid-March 2020, an estimated total of 846,016 regular initial unemployment claims have been filed. There were also 9,916 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims filed for the week ending February 27th.* (Note: PUA initial claim figures for last week include new and reopened claims tied to the Phase 2 rollout).

For the week ending February 20th, a combined total of 282,986 continued claims were filed from the regular UI (75,165), PUA (92,835), and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) (114,986) programs. The spike in PUA and PEUC continued claims compared to the week prior coincides with the February 20th Phase 2 rollout and the potential of those claimants requesting weekly payments as far back as the week beginning December 27th. CDLE estimates those continued claims were filed by approximately 190,921 individuals (68,239 for regular UI; 47,789 for PUA, and 74,893 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 27, 2021:
Weekly amounts for non regular UI programs can be viewed in the attached PDF at the end of this press release.

Regular UI: $2.72 Billion
Week ending February 27: $27.3 Million                

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
(gig workers/self-employed): $1.16 Billion

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
($600/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants, CARES Act;
 $300/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants, CAA): $2.93 Billion

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
(extends unemployment benefits by up to 13 weeks, CARES Act;
 extends additional 11 weeks, CAA): $548.1 Million

State Extended Benefits
(extends unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks): $30.5 Million

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

Total: $7.78 Billion


Helping Coloradans with Reemployment Support

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
Monday, March 15, 11:00 am - 11:30 am: Denver Workforce Services “Now Hiring” Series
Tuesday, March 16, 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm: LinkedIn Training
Wednesday, March 17, 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm: Careers in Tech
Thursday, March 18, 1:30 pm -3:30 pm: Resumes Part 1
Friday, March 19, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm: HOPE: Helping Offenders Pursue Employment (Greeley, in person) 918 10th St, Greeley, CO 80631, USA, 970-400-6791


Who’s Hiring

As of March 3, 2021, there are 85,862 jobs available in, the state’s jobs database.

  • The following areas and industries have the most job openings as of March 3, 2021: 
    • Computer and mathematical (24,506)
    • Management (12,427)
    • Sales and related (8,834) 

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 27th 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 February 2021.


Colorado Unemployment Insurance Charts Through Week Ending February 27, 2021
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