Nearly 18K Coloradans file initial unemployment claims

DENVER — An additional 17,825  people filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending May 16, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said, down from 22,483 the week prior. An additional 7,633 self-employed and gig workers applied for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

“This is the fifth week in a row of gradual declines in regular unemployment claims,” according to the CDLE report. 

Over the past nine weeks, a total of 476,613 initial unemployment claims have been filed. That figure includes Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance filings.

For the week ending May 16, Colorado distributed $88.8 million in regular unemployment insurance payments. That’s down from $96 million the prior week.

Prior to April and the COVID-19 outbreak, the state paid out a weekly average of $8.7 million.

“During the height of the Great Recession, $19 million in regular UI benefits were paid out on an average weekly basis. $102.8 million in benefits were paid out in May 2009, the previous highest monthly total on record,” according to CDLE “Approximately $315 million in regular UI benefits were paid out in April 2020.”