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Colorado reports 40K people filed for jobless benefits

December 18, 2020 GMT

DENVER (AP) — Colorado reported unemployment filings have ticked up during the latest surge of the coronavirus pandemic, rising by more than 11% in the last week, officials said.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has said 40,475 people opened or reopened claims for jobless benefits last week compared to the 36,257 people who filed claims the first week of December, The Denver Post reported.

Data from personal finance website WalletHub showed the state’s jobless claims have increased last week at the third-highest rate in the country behind Illinois and Kansas, researchers said. It also revealed the state’s jobless claims increased at the 14th highest rate in the country since the start of the pandemic in March.

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The increase mirrors a surge in confirmed coronavirus cases in Colorado and tighter restrictions for businesses to limit the spread of COVID-19, including new regulations against indoor dining, officials said.

Department records show people in the accommodation and food service industries have filed 5,606 unemployment claims in the state the last week of November, 45% of all claims filed that week.

State labor economist Ryan Gedney said the surge could be attributed to people reopening claims from earlier in the year after losing their jobs again. He also said some people filing for benefits have been long unemployed and have run out of state benefits but are eligible for federal benefits.

More than 885,000 people have sought support in the last week across the country, officials said.