Report shows the lowest number of regular claims since mid-March. 

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment gave us some good news to start September: unemployment claims are significantly down. 

The state reported 5,837 regular initial unemployment claims filed the week ending August 29. That is the lowest number of new regular claims since COVID-19 began in mid-March.

It's a much needed downward trend in filings, as the numbers are pretty staggering when you look at them in total since mid-March. 

According to CDLE, since mid-March, a total of 542,619 regular unemployment initial claims have been filed. The department also announced it has paid nearly $4.8 billion in unemployment benefits since March 29th. That amount includes regular unemployment benefits, those filing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and State Extended Benefits (SEB).

The $4.8 billion breaks down as follows: regular IU, $1.73 Billion​; Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, $568.4 Million​, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation ($600/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants) $2.44 Billion; Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (extends unemployment benefits by up to 13 weeks) $33.5 Million​; and State Extended Benefits, (extends unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks) $176,200​. 

Not surprisingly, the largest number of claims continue to come out of the accommodation and foodservice industry, which has taken a huge hit due to shut-downs and social distancing protocols.

Top 10 industries with the highest initial claims for week ending August 15th, according to CDLE:

  1. Accommodation and Food Services: 664 (12.8% of claims for week)
  2. Retail Trade: 594 (11.4%)
  3. Healthcare and Social Assistance: 560 (10.8%)
  4. Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services: 528 (10.2%)
  5. Construction: 496 (9.5%)
  6. Manufacturing: 358 (6.9%) 
  7. Education Services: 295 (5.7%)
  8. Professional and Technical Services: 288 (5.5%)
  9. Wholesale Trade: 204 (3.9%)
  10. Transportation and Warehousing: 187 (3.8%)

You can access the report, as well as past weekly reports, on the Colorado.gov website, as well as find unemployment insurance charts, and more.