DENVER (AP) — New applications for unemployment benefits are up by nearly 20 percent in Colorado after the first round of gig and self-employed workers were able to apply for help under a new federal program established to respond to the coronavirus economic shutdown.
The state labor department said Thursday that about 79,000 people filed initial unemployment claims last week. Just over half of them were gig and self-employed workers. The latest round of applications raised the number of new people who have sought unemployment benefits over the last five weeks in Colorado to 358,489. The department’s senior economist says it’s too early to say whether unemployment claims due to the outbreak have peaked yet.