Colorado labor department doesn’t release new unemployment figures, prepares for Friday town halls

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment did not release new unemployment numbers on Thursday, the day the department generally puts out the totals of new claims filed during the prior week.

After launching its new system for people on unemployment benefits, MyUI+, on Jan. 10, the labor department announced in a news release that “there are currently no new claims or benefit payment data available to report for the week ending Jan 16,” due in part to “the deployment of its new online unemployment benefits system, and impacts to underlying reports.”

The U.S. Department of Labor did put out claims data for Colorado on Thursday, announcing in a news release that 13,728 people filed new claims during the week that ended Saturday, down roughly 4% from the week prior. But those figures come from a week during which the new claim filing function wasn’t operational on the MyUI+ website from the start.

Colorado unemployment insurance program, like those in states across the country, has been beset by fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic leading to multiple revisions to claims data. During a news call last week, labor department economist Ryan Gedney cautioned against putting too much stock in recent claims totals likely to be revised further.

“Unfortunately, fraudulent activity can distort economic meaning and significance so the department recommends caution when analyzing and interpreting recent trends in UI initial claims,” he said.

The labor department is still working to re-launch federal unemployment programs, including Pandemic Unemployment Assitance, on its new system, functions that will follow the addition of new fraud-fighting technology through the company

The department is hosting a pair of virtual town hall meetings on Friday to update people on the unemployment system. The first meeting will be held at 11:30 a.m. with a Spanish-language meeting following at 1:30 p.m., according to officials. To register in advance, people are instructed to visit Registration is not required to participate.

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