Thousands of Coloradans are expected to lose their jobs in the coming days and weeks as businesses across the state cut their hours or shut down completely as part of officials’ attempts to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
COVID-19 IN COLORADO
The latest from the coronavirus outbreak in Colorado:
- MAP: Known cases in Colorado.
- PHOTOS: A look at how different parts of Colorado are dealing with the pandemic.
- TIMELINE: The moments that have shaped Colorado’s response to coronavirus.
- WRITE ON, COLORADO: Tell us your coronavirus stories.
- STORY: Months ago, Colorado trained to prepare for a pandemic. But not one like the coronavirus.
Gov. Jared Polis on March 14 ordered the closure of the state’s ski areas, leaving scores out of work. Then, on March 16, Polis shut down Colorado restaurants and bars to in-person dining for at least 30 days in an order that also shuttered theaters, casinos, gyms and large public venues.
The impact was immediate: In the three days during and after Polis’ orders, 20,700 Coloradans had filed a claim. On Wednesday, March 19, alone, there were 10,000 new filings, up nearly 50% from the day before when outages plagued the online system, said Cher Haavind, deputy executive director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Unemployment.
The $2 trillion federal stimulus package expands unemployment benefits to furloughed workers. It would offer an additional $600 a week for four months to workers furloughed during the coronavirus shutdowns.
Typically, Colorado’s unemployment compensation is 55% of a worker’s salary and lasts for 26 weeks. The federal plan is on top of regular unemployment pay for laid-off Coloradans. Independent contractors and gig workers, like Uber drivers, also qualify for the $600 though not regular state unemployment since they don’t pay into the system.
In order to understand the employment blow COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, is having on Colorado, The Colorado Sun is tracking weekly unemployment claim filings. See the chart below for the latest figures:
Last updated at 5 p.m. on April 3, 2020.
Colorado’s unemployment claims since January
Colorado’s unemployment claims since 2000
The map below from The Associated Press highlights the number of hospitality workers and their average annual income by county along with the number of hospitality businesses. It is helpful in illustrating the potential impact of job loss to so many across the nation.
Job resources for employees, employers
- Find out HERE about unemployment pay eligibility, read the FAQs, or estimate your payments
- File for unemployment pay. Tip: Save often. And if your last name starts with A-M, file Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday or after noon on Saturday. N-Z file Monday, Wednesday, Friday or before noon on Saturday.
- File by phone: 303-318-9000 or 1-800-388-5515. Call center hours are posted HERE
- Rejected? Appeal (FAQs on appeals)
- Didn’t get paid? File a wage complaint
Looking for a job?
- Search Colorado’s job portal: connectingcolorado.com (Tip: search for “neutral” location for work-from-home jobs)
- Contact your local workforce center: yourworkforcecenter.com
- Companies that have increased hiring in Colorado: CVSHealth, Amazon, Walmart, grocery stores
- Health care staffing agencies: Aya Healthcare, Nurse Finders, Maxim Healthcare, Colorado’s volunteer health care match
- Gig-economy firms delivering food or other items are hiring: Instacart, DoorDash, Amazon, Indeed.com’s list
- Work-from-home jobs: Flexjobs
- Get alerted when jobs match your skills profile: LinkedIn
- Trade job tips and network online: Upstream
- Alternatives to layoffs: state Dept. of Labor recommends its work-share or job-attached programs, which allow for reduced hours and unemployment pay.
- U.S. Small Business Administration is offering federal disaster loans of up to $2 million with 3.75% interest for for-profits and 2.75% for nonprofits. Details
- City of Denver is offering $7,500 cash grants to qualifying small businesses. Apply
- Get advice from state’s Small Business Development Center Network, with offices statewide
- Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ads to small businesses. Details
- Kiva, which crowdfunds loans to small businesses, is offering 0% interest loans to entrepreneurs during the pandemic. Details
The latest from The Sun
- Online learning is harder for some students, so Colorado schools are protecting grades with new policies
- How the closure of two Vail restaurants shows coronavirus’ domino effect on the food-service economy
- Colorado’s efforts to scale up PPE production are being tangled in federal red tape, certification process
- The clock is ticking for citizen ballot measures, but the campaigns are paused due to the coronavirus
- Colorado unveils plan for how doctors will decide who receives life-saving coronavirus treatment — and who doesn’t