DENVER — An additional 5,735 people filed for traditional unemployment benefits in the week ending Oct. 17, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said Thursday, a drop of 507 from the week prior. A total of 2,973 people in Colorado applied for state-level Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in that week, which is assistance for gig workers, the self-employed and others who wouldn’t normally qualify for regular benefits. That amounts to an increase of 441 from the week before. That specific assistance at the federal level, along with a $600 per week additional benefit for all claims, expired in August with both chambers of Congress and the White House deadlocked on additional stimulus as the presidential election approaches. The total number of continuing claims made in the state was at 217,974 for the week of Oct. 10, which include all state and federal assistance programs. The amount of regular benefits paid out by the department declined by $4.7 million from the prior week to $41.5 million. State labor officials are no longer holding weekly press conferences with reporters for the rest of the year due to furloughs ordered by Gov. Jared Polis across Colorado’s government to help fill a hole in the state’s budget created by the pandemic. Nationwide, the U.S. Labor Department said 787,000 Americans filed for first-time benefits in the period, amounting to a decrease of 111,000 from the week prior. Those figures are not directly comparable to the last several months of national claims figures due to a change in how the federal agency adjusts for seasonal employment. State labor officials do not seasonally adjust their weekly claims alongside the U.S. Department of Labor’s figures. *By Dan Mika via Greely Tribune*

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