Press Release: Update for the Week Ending May 1st: Continued Decline in Initial Claims and Work Search Updates

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For Immediate Release

Date: May 6, 2021
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations -

Press Release: State Labor Dept. Update for the Week Ending May 1st: Continued Decline in Initial Claims and Work Search Updates

(DENVER) — Today the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) reported that an estimated 4,472 regular initial unemployment claims were filed the week ending May 1st. There were also 618 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims filed for the same week. Since mid-March 2020, an estimated total of 926,676 regular initial unemployment claims have been filed and a grand total of 1,195,287 claims, when the PUA program is included.*

For the week ending April 24th, the number of continued weeks requested totaled 196,607. That includes the following totals by UI program: regular UI (61,105), PUA (52,898), and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) (82,604). CDLE estimates those continued claims were filed by approximately 163,895 individuals (55,826 for regular UI; 40,898 for PUA, and 67,171 for PEUC).** Weekly initial and continued claims figures can be viewed in the attached PDF at the end of this press release.

As mentioned in previous press releases, the identity verification requirement implemented at the start of April explains the relative decline in continued claims, compared to the weeks and months prior. CDLE’s trusted and federally-certified technology partner utilizes threat intel monitoring tactics and detected criminal activity targeting states that do not require verification. These tactics discovered conversations happening on the Dark Web between criminals including hackers, identity thieves and international crime rings in Russia, China, Nigeria, and Ghana exchanging information about unemployment processes in states not using This alone reveals that is successfully helping identify and prevent fraudulent activity within Colorado’s unemployment program.

The department also adopted a new emergency rule this week designed to strengthen claimants’ work search activities. The rule allows CDLE to disqualify claimants from receiving continued unemployment benefits for failing to show up to a scheduled interview, failing to show up for a scheduled exam, failing to report for the first scheduled day of new work, and failing to complete required pre-employment activities unless the claimant can verify reasonable justification for the specific failure. The new rule also allows for a disqualification if false or incorrect information is knowingly provided during the course of the interview that would result in the applicant to be considered unqualified for the job.

Additional data

Benefits paid March 29, 2020 - May 1, 2021:
Weekly amounts for non regular UI programs can be viewed in the attached PDF at the end of this press release.
The recent implementation of the identity verification requirement explains the decline in benefit payment amounts for regular UI, PUA, and FPUC, starting the week ending April 10th.

Regular UI: $2.92 Billion
Week ending May 1: $12.7 Million                

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
(gig workers/self-employed): $1.34 Billion

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
($600/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants, CARES Act;
 $300/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants, CAA; $300/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants, ARP): $3.56 Billion

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
(extends unemployment benefits by up to 13 weeks, CARES Act;
 extends additional 11 weeks, CAA; extends additional 29 weeks, ARP): $860.7 Million

State Extended Benefits
(extends unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks): $32.6 Million

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

Total: $9.09 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. There are also grants available for workers to help aid in Colorado’s economic recovery:

  • COResponds is designed to help workers who are temporarily or permanently laid off due to the pandemic, including dislocated workers and long-term unemployed workers. The grant also serves people who are self-employed but have become unemployed or underemployed as a result of the pandemic. Read more about COResponds here.
  • RecoverCO helps Coloradans who are unemployed or underemployed as a result of the pandemic by providing comprehensive career and training services for a rapid return to work and supportive services to ease financial burdens during job search and training.  Read more about RecoverCO here.

Trainings and Resources for Job Seekers
Please note that some registration links cover the same event over multiple days. Job seekers can see all available training dates by clicking on the drop down menu or “select a date” in the registration links.

Tuesday, May 11, 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.: LinkedIn

Wednesday, May 12, 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.: Governor’s Summer Job Hunt (Young Adult Job Fair)

Thursday, May 13, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.: Reframing Your Fears

Friday, May 14, 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.: Resumes 

Who’s Hiring
As of May 5, 2021, there are 79,740 job postings listed on, the state’s jobs database.

  • The following areas and industries have the most job openings as of May 5, 2021: 
    • Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services (28,435)
    • Professional, scientific and technical services (21,329)
    • Retail trade (20,484) 
  • Job titles posted most often: 
    • CDL-A truck drivers (2,260)
    • Delivery drivers (945)
    • Customer service representatives (938) 

We’re hiring! Click here to browse the more than 400 jobs open with the State of Colorado right now. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and the Office of the Future of Work publish bi-weekly articles to share hiring trends and highlight online and in-person resources to connect workers with meaningful employment. Read the latest article here.

Sector of the Week
As pandemic-related restrictions continue to ease up, an increasing number of employers are beginning to resume hiring. Each week we will highlight a sector that’s hiring. This week’s sector is performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries. According to EMSI, 295 open positions in the industry were listed in Colorado just last week. In the past month, 941 jobs in the arts, design, sports, and media jobs listed on

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*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) 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 regular UI fraudulent activity since the end of last year. Therefore, initial claims for the week ending May 1st 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 regular UI, 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 April 2021.

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Colorado Unemployment Insurance Charts Through Week Ending May 1st, 2021