New unemployment filings stayed stubbornly steady in Colorado last week, ticking up slightly while the nation as a whole saw its fewest new claims since the COVID-19 pandemic grabbed ahold of the economy last March.
Another 13,490 new claims were filed for unemployment support in the state last week, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment reported Thursday. Of those, 11,568 were for regular state benefits and 1,922 were for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
The total is a roughly 3% increase over the 13,100 claims filed in the state during the week ending March 13, state records show. More than 1.14 million claims have been filed in Colorado since the pandemic began, and the state labor department has processed $8.29 billion in unemployment payments, officials report.
So far, every week in March has seen at least 13,000 claims. It’s a sign that even as Colorado makes progress in rolling out vaccines for the coronavirus, the economy is not surging back to life. There were weeks last fall when the state saw fewer than 7,000 new filings when removing fraudulent claims.
Nationally, roughly 684,000 people filed claims during the week ending Sunday, down 97,000 from the week prior. Consumer spending is picking up, especially in the wake of the latest round of government stimulus checks, and employers are adding workers.
The state labor department, in a news release Thursday, highlighted openings and upcoming job fairs as it focuses on getting people back to work.
The state’s job board site, ConnectingColorado.com, has more than 25,000 listings classified under “administrative and support and waste management and remediation services” and more than 18,600 under “professional, scientific and technical services,” the labor department reported Thursday. Employers have posted openings for nearly 10,000 registered nurses, nearly 9,000 for truck drivers and more than 6,500 for software developers.
On Monday, the state will hold an online women’s resource symposium. Military veterans will have access starting at 9 a.m. with everyone else being allowed in starting at 10 a.m. The event lasts until 3:30 p.m. It will feature job opportunities as well as information about child care and mental health, according to the labor department. To register, visit bit.ly/3vX25AV.
An in-person job fair will be held in Greeley on Friday from 11 a.m. to noon at 918 10th St., Thursday’s news release said. A second job fair is planned for the same location on April 1. For more information and to register for those events, call 970-400-6791.
For a complete calendar or job fairs and events in the state, visit cdle.colorado.gov/jobs-training.
On Wednesday, the Colorado health department announced the latest changes to the state’s color-coded COVID-19 restrictions dial. The rollout coincided with 26 counties being moved to Level Green with no further limits on business and rollbacks of restrictions on counties in Level Blue and Level Yellow, which covers the entire Denver metro area.
The impacts of those changes on the state’s economy have yet to be seen but with much more leeway for businesses including bars, restaurants and gyms to operate, the expectation is they will be positive.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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