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Colorado surpasses 400,000 total new jobless claims since mid-March

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Derek Draplin | The Center Square

(The Center Square) – Colorado surpassed 400,000 total new unemployment claims last week, according to federal labor data.

The state's claim total stands at more than 407,800 since mid-March, when restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 began to affect the economy.

Data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor said 17,958 new claims were filed in Colorado during the week May 16, down 4,774 claims from the prior week.

Nationally, the jobless total for the past nine weeks tops 38 million, with an additional 2.44 million workers filing claims during the week ending May 16.

According to, Colorado’s real-time unemployment rate was 17.4 percent through May 2.

Colorado has been under a safer-at-home order since April 27, but many counties like Denver and Boulder extended stay-at-home orders into May.

The safer-at-home order allowed some retail businesses to reopen for in-person service on May 1, and some offices reopened on May 4 with half their workforces allowed back.

Earlier this week, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released draft guidelines for restaurants and bars to reopen with restrictions.

Governor Jared Polis said a final reopening plan will be released May 25 following public input on the draft guidelines.