Colorado unemployment claims tick up again amid COVID-19 spike

By: - November 5, 2020 1:27 pm

(Getty Images)

First-time unemployment filings in Colorado have reached their highest level in three months and remain above the levels seen in all but the worst weeks of the 2009-10 recession, state officials reported Thursday.

Initial claims for regular unemployment insurance for the week ending Oct. 31 totaled 7,116, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said in a release. That’s the highest weekly figure since Aug. 1, and represents the continuation of a slight upward trend since claims reached a low of 4,840 in late September.

Filings for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a benefit for independent contractors and gig workers established earlier this year by federal COVID-19 relief legislation, were also up in Colorado last week, jumping more than 40% from the previous week to 3,625 claims.

The uptick in unemployment comes as the spread of the coronavirus continues to accelerate, with case counts soaring across the country and greater restrictions being placed on businesses in many Colorado counties.

More than eight months after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, Colorado’s unemployment levels remain far higher than their 2019 average, and significantly above the levels seen in past economic downturns. Amid the severe recession in 2009 and 2010, weekly UI claims averaged just 4,800 and peaked at 7,749.

More than 260,000 Coloradans received some form of unemployment payments in October, down from a high of nearly 425,000 in June, according to CDLE data.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Chase Woodruff
Chase Woodruff

Reporter Chase Woodruff covers the environment, the economy and other stories for Colorado Newsline.