Colorado Weekly Unemployment Claims Soar To 60K As Coronavirus Fears Grip Economy

More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, far exceeding the record high set just the week before.

The number of applications in Colorado for the week that ended on March 28 rose to 60,784, an increase of 207.4 percent from the more than 19,000 submitted the previous week.

Compared to this point last year? It represents an increase of 3998.7 percent — a sure sign that layoffs are accelerating in the midst of the coronavirus.

The Colorado Department of Labor pointed out that the claims number is eight times greater than the peak period during the Great Recession. That was back in 2010 when the peak claims number was 7,749 on Jan. 9.

The job cuts mount against the backdrop of economies in the United States and abroad that have almost certainly sunk into a severe recession as businesses close across the world. The surging layoffs have led many economists to envision as many as 20 million jobs lost nationally by the end of April. 

Since March 14, Colorado has processed 80,558 claims for unemployment. That represents 3.0 percent of the state's total workforce that is eligible for the unemployment insurance program.