Help Wanted: Slow Job Recovery
Local Jobs Go Unfilled
As the “Help Wanted” signs slowly fade in the afternoon sun in downtown merchant windows and the running list of job openings at any number of Lake County businesses and organizations continue to go unfilled week after week, early May numbers support the Leadville indicators that the labor force might not be ready to get back to work.
Last Friday, May 7 the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) reported that an estimated 4,472 regular initial unemployment claims were filed the week ending May 1st. There were also 618 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims filed for the same week. Since mid-March 2020, an estimated total of 926,676 regular initial unemployment claims have been filed and a grand total of 1,195,287 claims, when the PUA program is included.*
“People either don’t want to get back to work,” said one downtown Leadville retailer, “or they’ve left because they can’t find a place to live.”
At the state level, for the week ending April 24th, the number of continued weeks requested totaled 196,607. That includes the following totals by UI program: regular UI (61,105), PUA (52,898), and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) (82,604). CDLE estimates those continued claims were filed by approximately 163,895 individuals (55,826 for regular UI; 40,898 for PUA, and 67,171 for PEUC).
Verify ID or No Benefits
As mentioned in previous reports, the ID.me identity verification requirement implemented at the start of April explains the relative decline in continued claims, compared to the weeks and months prior. CDLE’s trusted and federally-certified technology partner utilizes threat intel monitoring tactics and detected criminal activity targeting states that do not require ID.me verification. These tactics discovered conversations happening on the Dark Web between criminals including hackers, identity thieves and international crime rings in Russia, China, Nigeria, and Ghana exchanging information about unemployment processes in states not using ID.me. This alone reveals that ID.me is successfully helping identify and prevent fraudulent activity within Colorado’s unemployment program.
Show Up for Job Interview or Risk Disqualification
The department also adopted a new emergency rule this week designed to strengthen claimants’ work search activities. The rule allows CDLE to disqualify claimants from receiving continued unemployment benefits for failing to show up to a scheduled interview, failing to show up for a scheduled exam, failing to report for the first scheduled day of new work, and failing to complete required pre-employment activities unless the claimant can verify reasonable justification for the specific failure. The new rule also allows for a disqualification if false or incorrect information is knowingly provided during the course of the interview that would result in the applicant to be considered unqualified for the job.
Trainings and Resources for Job Seekers
There are some great FREE webinars available this week to help with your hunt for the perfect job. Please note that some registration links cover the same event over multiple days. Job seekers can see all available training dates by clicking on the drop-down menu or “select a date” in the registration links. So if you can log in this week, check out future dates as well. Good Luck!
- Tuesday, May 11, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: LinkedIn
- Wednesday, May 12, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.: Governor’s Summer Job Hunt (Young Adult Job Fair)
- Thursday, May 13, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Reframing Your Fears
- Friday, May 14, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Resumes
Helping Coloradans with Reemployment Support
CDLE and its partners hold regular, no-cost training that can help unemployed Coloradans get rehired. A sampling of events is below and a complete list of events, workshops and training opportunities is available on the CDLE website. There are also grants available for workers to help aid in Colorado’s economic recovery:
COResponds is designed to help workers who are temporarily or permanently laid off due to the pandemic, including dislocated workers and long-term unemployed workers. The grant also serves people who are self-employed but have become unemployed or underemployed as a result of the pandemic. Read more about COResponds here.
RecoverCO helps Coloradans who are unemployed or underemployed as a result of the pandemic by providing comprehensive career and training services for a rapid return to work and supportive services to ease financial burdens during job search and training. Read more about RecoverCO here.
Additional CDLE Data
- Benefits paid March 29, 2020 – May 1, 2021:
Weekly amounts for non regular UI programs can be viewed in the attached PDF at the end of this press release. The recent implementation of the ID.me identity verification requirement explains the decline in benefit payment amounts for regular UI, PUA, and FPUC, starting the week ending April 10th.
- Regular UI: $2.92 Billion
Week ending May 1: $12.7 Million
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
(gig workers/self-employed): $1.34 Billion
- Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
($600/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants, CARES Act;
$300/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants, CAA; $300/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants, ARP): $3.56 Billion
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
(extends unemployment benefits by up to 13 weeks, CARES Act;
extends additional 11 weeks, CAA; extends additional 29 weeks, ARP): $860.7 Million
- State Extended Benefits
(extends unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks): $32.6 Million
- Lost Wages Assistance
($300/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants, fall 2020): $389.2 Million
- Total: $9.09 Billion