Colorado’s unemployed will soon see their benefits reduced or eliminated



Coloradians who receive unemployment benefits have less than two weeks before several additional federal pandemic programs expire, reducing or eliminating payments for tens of thousands of unemployed people.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said on Friday that the number of people affected in one way or another by the impending expirations stood at 116,000, with the bulk – 87,147 claimants – being on the verge of losing their benefits entirely. Expirations affect claims after the week ending September 4.

The total includes those who qualified to receive an additional federal weekly benefit of $ 300 – in addition to regular payments received under all state and federal compensation programs – during the week ending August 14 . This supplement has dramatically increased the $ 380 paid to claimants in average regular weekly benefits, so even those who retain their eligibility will feel the effects, Ryan Gedney, senior labor economist, told a CDLE press briefing. Friday.

The 87,000-plus who face not only a reduction but a cliff in benefits are people who received benefits in mid-August under two expiring federal expansion programs.

The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program extended claimants’ eligibility by 13 weeks after they exhaust state unemployment benefits. The other, called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, established unemployment benefits for the self-employed and “concert” workers for the first time.

Although the state continues to see new initial claims for unemployment benefits filed every week, the workforce has declined overall as some workers have found jobs in recent weeks. This means that it is possible, state labor officials said, that fewer than 116,000 people will still be actively receiving benefits by the time the federal programs expire.

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

The state reported Friday that Colorado employers increased their hiring rates in July after a sluggish June, and now 122,000 jobs are listed on Connecting Colorado, the employment portal of the State, in various fields and industries.

“As we move closer to this week ending September 4, we continue to direct applicants to resources that will help them successfully return to the workforce,” said Phil Spesshardt, division director of the unemployment insurance from CDLE, at the press conference on Friday.

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