Weekly unemployment claims in CO rise to 6,242

DENVER — An additional 6,242 people filed for traditional unemployment benefits in the week ending Oct. 10, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said Thursday, an increase 350 from the week prior.

The increase comes after a short period where fewer than 5,000 people filed for first-time benefits since early March and the beginning of the pandemic. State labor officials use 5,000 as a benchmark because that was the weekly average of claims made during the height of the Great Recession during 2009 and 2010.

A total of 2,532 people in Colorado applied for state-level Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in the week ending Oct. 10, which is assistance for gig workers, the self-employed and others who wouldn’t normally qualify for regular benefits. That amounts to an increase of 223 from the week before.

The state labor department previously said it intends to write off approximately $1.4 million in overpayments from that program to about 9,000 recipients, with the errors being caused by paperwork issues.

The number of regular continuing claims was at 126,274 Coloradans in the week ending Oct. 3, amounting to a drop of about 2,645 people. Continued claims for pandemic-specific assistance was at 67,234 as of Oct. 10.

The amount of regular benefits paid out by the department declined by $1.8 million from the prior week to $46.2 million.

Nationwide, the U.S. Labor Department said 898,000 Americans filed for first-time benefits in the period, amounting to an increase of 53,000 from the week prior.

Those figures are not directly comparable to the last several months of national claims due to a change in how the federal agency adjusts for seasonal employment. State labor officials do not seasonally adjust their weekly claims alongside the U.S. Department of Labor’s figures.

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