Colorado Unemployment Claims Jump 22% From Last Week’s Low

October 8, 2020
DENVER OUTDOOR DINING CORONAVIRUSDENVER OUTDOOR DINING CORONAVIRUSHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Tables set up for diners behind barricades on Larimer Street in Denver, Sept. 30, 2020.

Initial regular unemployment claims jumped almost 22 percent for the week ending Oct. 3, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

That equates to 5,892 new claims, the data show. The large jump was driven in part by seasonal factors related to when workers choose to file, said Ryan Gedney, senior economist with the CDLE. The increase is in-line with historical patterns, he said.

On top of the regular claims, there were 2,309 claims filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the federal benefits program for gig workers and independent contractors. 

In recent weeks, it’s come to light that some Coloradans that received unemployment benefits under PUA are being asked to repay that money. The state says the overpayment was due largely to confusion over how to fill out the forms, particularly among gig workers. Workers that feel they shouldn’t have to repay the funds can seek relief from the state, said Jeff Fitzgerald, the program director and chief of operations at the CDLE.

“If they feel like they can demonstrate that they had confusion with regards to understanding how to properly report their wages … and the overpayment was a result of that, they have options right now to appeal that decision,” Fitzgerald said Thursday in a conference call with reporters.

About 7 percent of PUA claimants were impacted by overpayment, he said.