Up to 116,000 Coloradans to see their unemployment benefits cut or eliminated 

Coloradans who have received unemployment benefits have less than two weeks until the federal pandemic add-on programs expire, essentially cutting payments for thousands of individuals currently out of work. 

Ryan Gedney, a senior labor economist, during a CDLE news briefing last Friday stated, “The total comprises people who qualified to receive a $300 supplemental federal weekly benefit – on top of regular payments received through all state and federal compensation programs – during the week ending Aug. 14. That supplement offered a significant boost to the $380 paid to claimants in average regular weekly benefits, so even those who retain their eligibility will feel the pinch” (MSN).

The Colorado Department of Labor & Employment stated that the number of people affected by the expirations are numbered to 116,000. With 87,147 out of the 116,000 set to lose benefits entirely. The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program or (P.E.U.C) extended the eligibility for claimants by 13 weeks once Colorado exhausted their unemployment benefits. There is also another program called, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, essentially establishing unemployment benefits for first time self-employed / “gig” workers.

Colorado continues to receive new initial unemployment benefit claims every week though recent new claims have declined since some unemployed workers actually found a job. Which, in a statement by the state labor official, “That means it’s possible that fewer than 116,000 will still be actively receiving benefits by the time expiration date on the federal programs arrives” (California: News Now).

A month age, 98,000 were active in the two federal expansion programs that are due to end, about 11,000 more than in mid-August. And 36,000 claimants were receiving regular state unemployment benefits, compared to just under 29,000 this month – though more than 7,000 of them are approaching the end of their state eligibility in the next month, officials said.

Last Friday the state reported that Colorado employers increased their rate of hiring in July after a sluggish June, and now 122,000 job opportunities are listed on Connecting Colorado, the state’s job portal, across a range of fields and industries.

As Phil Spesshardt, the director of CDLE’s unemployment insurance division stated, “As we get closer and closer to that week ending Sept. 4, we continue to direct claimants to resources that will help them successfully return to the workforce” (MSN).



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