Colorado unemployment rate remained at 6.4% in April as state launches back-to-work incentive

    BRIEF

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    For the second month in a row, Colorado’s unemployment rate stayed flat at 6.4%, down from a high of over 12% in the worst months of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the April figure was still more than double the state’s average monthly jobless rate in 2019.

    The number of individuals employed in Colorado climbed by 9,600 in April to a total of 2,992,700, according to a monthly report from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Another 200,000 Coloradans are currently receiving unemployment insurance, and the state’s labor force participation rate — a measurement that includes both the employed and those receiving unemployment benefits — reached 68.7% in April, marking the first time that figure has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

    Colorado’s 6.4% unemployment rate is slightly higher than the national rate of 6.1%, which rose by one-tenth of a percent following disappointing job growth in April, as the economy continues to suffer from the effects of the pandemic. Only 14 other states and the District of Columbia had higher unemployment rates than Colorado in April, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Prior to the release of CDLE’s monthly report, Gov. Jared Polis this week announced a “Colorado Jumpstart” incentive program that will pay up to $1,600 to unemployed Coloradans who return to work in May and June. The payments are subject to a variety of conditions, and unemployment-insurance claimants can learn more about their eligibility on the state’s MyUI+ portal.

    “Powering the comeback means supporting Coloradans getting back to work and our businesses as they expand,” Polis said in a statement. “We know that getting back to work doesn’t mean all the financial challenges Coloradans are facing just disappear, and we want to ensure that as more people are returning to the workforce, we are setting them up for success.”