Colorado unemployment filings mostly flat at 13,100 as nation sees surge

On a national level, unemployment numbers climbed last week to 770,000, feeding ongoing concerns about the fragility of the economic recovery from the COVID-19 sparked recession.

But in Colorado, initial unemployment claims stayed mostly level last week, dropping to 13,100 combined claims between state and federal benefit programs, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment reported Thursday. The week ending March 6, new claims totaled 13,398, according to state numbers, a difference of roughly 2%.

In the three weeks since the state labor department reopened the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs to new filers and people that used up all of their federal benefits last year, the state has seen an average of 13,887 new claims filed per week. The average number of claims filed per week in 2020 was 14,300, according to CDLE, a figure that included 2.5 months before the pandemic took hold in the state. Prior to 2020, the labor department had never processed more than 8,000 claims in a single week.

Colorado’s economy shows signs of coming back to life in early 2021. More people are being vaccinated against the virus every day, sowing hope life and commerce will return to normal later this year.

Initial unemployment filing numbers are subject to change. The state’s unemployment system has been subject to rampant fraud during the pandemic.

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