Press Release: Update for the Week Ending May 8th: Continued Decline in Initial Claims and’s Impact on Suspicious Activity

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For Immediate Release

Date: May 13, 2021
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations -

State Labor Dept. Update for the Week Ending May 8th: Continued Decline in Initial Claims and’s Impact on Suspicious Activity

(DENVER) — Today the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) reported that an estimated 4,395 regular initial unemployment claims were filed the week ending May 8th. This represents the first time since the start of the pandemic that Colorado has registered consecutive weeks with fewer than 5,000 regular initial claims. There were also 616 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims filed for the same week. Since mid-March 2020, an estimated total of 931,071 regular initial unemployment claims have been filed and a grand total of 1,200,298 claims, when the PUA program is included.*

For the week ending May 1st, the number of continued weeks requested totaled 192,830. That includes the following totals by UI program: regular UI (59,660), PUA (51,525), and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) (81,645). CDLE estimates those continued claims were filed by approximately 162,886 individuals (55,092 for regular UI; 40,913 for PUA, and 66,881 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 continuously identifies and defeats new tactics used by international and domestic criminals. Just this week, identified and prevented a new attack that involved criminals swapping IPs, devices, and line types in an attempt to bypass’s controls. has also 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, pushing criminals to attack those states. This alone reveals that is successfully helping identify and prevent fraudulent activity within Colorado’s unemployment program.

“The significant decline in initial claims is not due to the small population of legitimate claimants experiencing tech issues with,” said Joe Barela, Executive Director for CDLE. “We’re seeing a decline because is stopping criminals from attacking Colorado’s unemployment system. While it’s still too early to attribute the decline in claims to economic recovery, we do know for certain that is preventing the influx in fraudulent activity we have experienced throughout the pandemic. We are aware that some legitimate claimants will experience a hold after completing, and we continue to explore and implement ways to streamline the investigation process while remaining fiscally responsible.”

In addition to stopping criminal activity from organized crime rings outside the country, also has credible threat intel that gangs and criminals within the U.S. are using social engineering tactics to trick individuals into handing over their identity credentials by pretending to offer them a job, romance or prize money. Those involved are offered a portion of the payout for collecting and providing the identity credentials. According to, these schemes account for 7.5-10% of fraudulent claims nationwide and stops about 80% of these attacks upfront. Even for victims who follow the attackers’ instructions, is blocking such fraud by implementing a text message alert system to let people know when their identity is used to file unemployment benefits. Individuals can respond with “N” to indicate if the transaction isn't authorized. gets about 200 “N” responses per day to suspend fraudulent claims once people realize they've been duped.  

Legitimate claimants can now see the status of their verification within their MyUI+ accounts. They will either see a “yes,” “no,” or “pending further investigation” next to “ Verified.

Additional data

Benefits paid March 29, 2020 - May 8, 2021:
Weekly amounts for non regular UI programs can be viewed in the attached PDF at the end of this press release.

Regular UI: $2.94 Billion
Week ending May 8: $19.7 Million                

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
(gig workers/self-employed): $1.35 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): $3.61 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): $889.5 Million

State Extended Benefits
(extends unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks): $32.9 Million

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

Total: $9.20 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
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.

Monday, May 17, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.: Abre el Camino a Su Proximo Trabajo: Solamente en persona--Este taller les ayuda a los que buscan trabajo, hablando de lo que se necesita en la busqueda, incluyendo solicitudes, curriculos, y practica para las entrevistas. 918 10th St, Greeley, CO 80631

Tuesday, May 18, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Remote Work

Wednesday, May 19, 11:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.: Resume-writing Lab: 
In-Person Only: Create your resume with the help of the instructor, applying the information from Tuesday's Keys to Resume Writing workshop and your prepared information. Sign up through your Connecting Colorado account or by calling 970-400-6791. 918 10th Street, Greeley, Colorado

Thursday, May 20, 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.: Career Reinvention

Friday, May 21, 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.: Emotional Intelligence 

Who’s Hiring

As of May 12, 2021, there are 79,722 job postings listed on, the state’s jobs database.

  • The following areas and industries have the most job openings as of May 12, 2021: 
    • Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services (29,243)
    • Retail trade (20,537)
    • Professional, scientific and technical services (20,701)
  • Job titles posted most often: 
    • CDL-A truck drivers (2,030)
    • Customer service representatives (1,029)
    • Registered nurses (905) 

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 transportation. According to EMSI, 12,282 open positions in the industry were listed in Colorado just last week. In the past month, 2,753 transportation jobs were listed on


Grants for Workers

  • 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.

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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 8th 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 8th, 2021