How many people are filing for unemployment and how do you apply for it in Colorado?


In Colorado and across the nation unemployment insurance claims have skyrocketed as state and local governments have ordered non-essential businesses to close amid the coronavirus outbreak.

While the full economic impact of the virus may not be known for several months, comparing the number of unemployment insurance claims filed each week offers a rough estimate of how many people have lost their jobs.

The data above is just from the past year. It shows how quickly claims have increased in March 2020. But to put this data in context, let’s take a look back a few more years.

For instance, in 2007 Colorado averaged 2,278 unemployment insurance claims per week, federal data show. Toward the end of 2009, during the last recession, the average number of claims rose to 5,147 per week. During Jan. 2010, one week saw 7,749 claims, the maximum number during the recession.

For the week of March 8-14 this year, unemployment insurance claims shot up to 19,774, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. For March 15-21, the number of claims tripled to 60,784.

We will continue to update this data as it becomes available, typically on Thursday of each week.

Please note:

  • The data shown above is from the U.S. Department of Labor and these numbers can differ slightly from the state’s initial numbers. We are using federal data because it should be the most accurate.
  • The most recent week’s data above is not finalized and is likely to change slightly the following week. Given the fluid nature of this crisis, we feel the initial numbers reported to the federal government are reliable to provide a sense of recent unemployment claims in Colorado.
  • The data above is different than the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate takes longer to quantify and that is why we are tracking unemployment insurance benefit claims right now.

Unemployment resources:

More on unemployment from The Denver Post