DENVER (AP) — The number of new people applying for unemployment benefits in Colorado declined again last week but the state paid out $95.3 million in regular unemployment benefits because of the surge in layoffs earlier in the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, 15,603 people applied for regular unemployment benefits, down from 17,825 the week before, while 6,635 self-employed and gig workers applied for filed claims for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in Colorado, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said Thursday. Last week’s regular unemployment benefits payout was up from $88.8 million the week before.
During the height of the Great Recession, the state paid out an average of $19 million in unemployment benefits each week.
Over the last 10 weeks, workers have filed a total of 489,851 claims for regular or federally-funded unemployment.
Nationally, roughly 2.1 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that companies are still slashing jobs even as more businesses reopen and rehire some laid-off employees.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.