The number of new weekly jobless cases has gradually increased for weeks, with the latest number now reaching double what it was in late September. This tracks the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Colorado and the resulting domestic trade restrictions.
But the sudden rise has prompted the state’s Department of Labor and Employment to question whether there is more fraud occurring within the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which is the federal assistance available to temporary job workers, self-employed workers and freelance contractors. The PUA program has been heavily targeted by scammers this summer, with the government agency blocking a $ 1 billion payment but still needing a $ 40m refund.
“Given the significant increase in PUA initial claims in recent weeks, CDLE is conducting a review to identify issues that may be contributing to the increase, including an in-depth analysis of fraud,” the agency said in a statement. The state said it will share the analysis next week.
If this is similar to what happened in the summer, people with new PUA claims might see a delay in getting funds or other issues. The country usually does not notify users if a claim is suspected to be fraudulent. But once I learn more, you can read it in our What Works in the Future column.
As for the doubling of new claims? The number of new PUA claims rose to 7,281 last week, up 100% from 3,625 the previous week. Total jobless claims rose 37% in the week to 14,764 in the week ending November 7.
Another notable increase: People who have exhausted 26 weeks of regular unemployment and have had to switch to Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. PEUC, which offers 13 additional weeks of payments, added nearly 8,900 people last week, up 18.3% from the previous week.
Ryan Gidney, chief economist at the Department of Labor, said this isn’t necessarily due to people who are finally seeing PEUC payments after they are put on hold. Instead, it’s likely due to the time people are preparing your Bi-monthly claim. To better visualize the number of PEUC claims, it looked at the total claims that have been going on since October 17. The number of people requesting another unemployment payment decreased as of October 31 to 5,800.
“Some individuals could have switched to (expanded government benefits), but most of these 5,800 will likely have regained work,” said Gidney.
There are 213,703 Colorado residents with “persistent claims” for unemployment, as of October 31. This is an increase of about 3% from the previous week.
However, not all Coloradans with outstanding unemployment cases may appear in the data. Thousands of unemployed Koloradin residents do not receive unemployment benefits for one reason or another. If you do not request a bi-weekly payment, you will not be counted in “continuing claims”.
“If a continuing claim is not filed, it will not appear in the statements,” said Gidney.
New rules: equal pay, minimum wage, paid sick leave
Amid all the cracks of unemployment (i.e. fraud, PUA reserves, and overpayments) during the summer, another division of the state’s Ministry of Labor was tasked with setting the rules for a set of new laws passed by the state legislature.
The Division of Labor Standards and Statistics said this week Several new rules were adopted.
Less paid: The minimum hourly wage for the state Rises to $ 12.32 on Jan.1 Because the state constitution requires it to be amended annually to account for inflation. Even in a pandemic, inflation rose to 2.7%. The minimum wage is currently $ 12 in Colorado.
- The minimum wage increases to $ 9.30 an hour from $ 8.98.
- New posters along with the pay increase will be posted on the department’s website around December 1.
Paid sick days: The Family and Health Workplace LawPassed by the legislature in July, picks where federal sick leave requirements expire. The new rules are part of the state Wage protection rules And addressing staff who become ill during a public health emergency. essence:
- The new law requires employers to allow workers to take paid sick leave at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, with a maximum of 48 hours of benefits per year.
- During public health emergencies, employees who work at least 40 hours a week can take 80 hours of paid sick leave. Part-time workers also qualify, but they must have been scheduled to work in the next 14 days or to work within the past 14 days of the declaration of a health emergency.
Equal pay: The Equal Pay Act for equal work, Which aims to address the wage disparity between women and people of color, has gotten some new rules, although not everything is covered in law. The department focused on pay transparency in this round of rule-making, which includes:
- Job advertisements must include the hourly rate or wage range, as well as bonuses and benefits, so that applicants know the wages for the posted job.
- An employer can still pay more or less than the declared domain if the published domain is “in good faith” by the reasonable discretion of the employer at that time.
- Employees can file a civil suit against their employer but also file a complaint or appeal with the department.
Scott Moss, director of the Labor Standards division, said that rule-setting for other parts of the Equal Pay Act has not been addressed but the department is looking at whether these are in its authority. Some of these changes in the law include prohibiting employers from asking about salary history (which has been cited as the reason why some workers stop short of low starting salaries) and requiring employers to keep records.
He added that these things are part of the statute.
“The law is binding and does not need the rules to be in effect,” Moss said. “The same law states that complaints can be submitted to the department regarding any compensation, job posting, promotion, or record-keeping requirements. After that, the law states that we investigate and implement, and this includes the authority to issue the purposes of violations.”
Unemployed law school graduates from the University of Denver Sturm Law School or University of Colorado Law School can weather the pandemic by participating in a free online training camp hosted by AltaClaro, which offers a training program for budding transaction attorneys to learn practical legal skills and typically costs $ 499. .
The catch? AltaClaro donates one free place to schools only after law firms buy two classroom seats. AltaClaro offers law firms a massive 90% discount. The firm was co-founded by a law graduate from DU and former law school dean Marty Katz worked as a consultant. A spokeswoman said she was testing the concept and hoped to “donate hundreds of seats” to schools. >> details
At another data point …
With jobless claims on the rise again, I take a look at sectors of the Colorado economy that are seeing increases or decreases in jobs. Not surprisingly, jobs that allow remote work have not only seen job growth during the pandemic but throughout the past year.
The key for those looking for a new career is the “professional and business services” sector, which includes computer jobs, legal services, architects and engineers. This specialization has seen steady job growth year-over-year which shows that there is a continuous demand for these jobs even during the pandemic.
Note in the chart, that many other occupations have seen impressive job growth year on year as well. But looking at the top locations – couriers and couriers, manufacturing of drinks, services for buildings and dwellings – those locations have grown due to the pandemic and increased home delivery services, work on the ground where people stayed home and … beer?
“Much (manufacturing growth) has been actually driven by the nondurable goods component of manufacturing. Think food and drink,” said Grandpa, the state economist. “Breweries are going to be under the beverage. … if you break into the beverage component in it, in August, September and July we are seeing growth rates of more than 10% compared to the previous year. “
Return to The Sun on Monday for the full story about how some Colorado tech companies have grown despite the pandemic.
>> Do you have advice or a resource about the epidemic? Share it with what works at [email protected]
Police stimulus plan of $ 1.3 billion
In case you missed: Gov. Jared Polis has a plan to pump $ 1.3 billion into the state’s economy next year. A lot of it relates to jobs, but maybe not Your Profession.
About $ 290 million aims to invest in more rural broadband in addition to building roads and bridges. Such investment is expected to help add 15,000 jobs in Colorado.
Another $ 168 million is earmarked to fund that one-time payment of $ 375 for the unemployment of the majority of Coloradin’s residents. There is also financial support for restaurants and small businesses.
This is a police package so it still needs to be approved by the state legislature.
Read the details my colleague John Frank has covered: The Colorado Governor says his $ 1.3 billion stimulus plan will create as many as 15,000 jobs, but the questions abound.
I’ve been trying to share all the emails from people who have shared my unemployment problems. Thank you so much! I cannot answer all requests but it helps me to know what questions to ask and where the gaps in the country system are. Keep arrivals – Plus I’d love to hear if your case gets resolved, too. Email me at [email protected] If you’re still looking for a problem, here are some quick links to the story archives The Sun reported overpayments, unemployment fraud, and PUA issues.
Thanks for handing over this week’s column. Reach out if you have a question, the flu, or helpful advice. And if you want to support what works, share this with everyone you know or become a member of The Colorado: coloradosun.com/join. See you next week! ~Tamara
- What works: With the increase in coronavirus cases, so has the number of Coloradoans filing for unemployment
- What works: New $ 375 incentive, small business grants and tales from Colorado’s unemployment waiting list
- What Works: Colorado’s unemployment rate drops to 6.4%, $ 19 million for small businesses, plus the remnants of “lost wages”
- What Works: Unemployment Accumulation, Late Dates and Overpayments in Colorado
- What works: The “missing wages” get a new deadline, forgiveness for overpayments, small business updates and more
- What works: One-third of Colorado’s share of “missing wages” has yet to be claimed, plus a new unemployment office portal
- What works: Thousands of jobless scams have been lifted in Colorado as more of them face expensive health insurance
- Colorado residents who are unemployed, nearly homeless and unemployed, whose benefits have been suspended are crying out for help.
- The “Missing Wages” Bonus Starts At $ 300, Amazon Hires Frenzy and Answers from Colorado Department of Labor
- What works: The additional $ 300 unemployment benefit gets started on how Colorado paid $ 40 million in unemployment aid
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