First-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits in Colorado last week declined 25.2% from the previous week, but still accounted for the second highest total in the state’s records.
Last week, 46,055 claims were filed, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment reported Thursday. That’s down from the record 61,583 claims filed in the week ended March 28, which in turn was more than triple the record set in the previous week. The department has received 127,393 initial claims for unemployment benefits during the past three weeks.
The largest number of workers filing claims in the week ended April 4 came from the hotel and restaurant industry at 12,411, followed by health care and social services at 2,560, the department said. Hotels and restaurants have been hit hard by mandatory closure orders for restaurants’ dine-in areas, a sharp decline in travel and a stay-at-home order from Gov. Jared Polis to slow the spread of the coronavirus across the state.
The state paid nearly $30 million in unemployment benefits during the week ended April 4, more than triple the weekly average this year. The department paid an average of $19 million a week during the Great Recession and a record $102.8 million in benefits in May 2009, a monthly mark that may be eclipsed.
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