Colorado unemployment claims decline, payouts still historic

Colorado News

A notice of closure is posted at The Great Frame Up in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., Thursday, April 2, 2020. The coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak has triggered a stunning collapse in the U.S. workforce with millions of people losing their jobs in the past two weeks and economists warn unemployment could reach levels not seen since the Depression, as the economic damage from the crisis piles up around the world. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DENVER (AP) — Regular unemployment claims declined for a fifth straight week last week but Colorado is paying record jobless benefits as the result of economic restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The state labor department said Thursday that 17,825 people applied for regular unemployment benefits in Colorado, down from 22,483 the week before. In addition, 7,633 self-employed and gig workers filed claims for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Last week, the state paid out $88.8 million in regular unemployment benefits. The state paid $315 million in regular unemployment benefits in April, breaking the previous record total of $102.8 million set in May 2009.

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