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New unemployment claims in Colorado have declined to the lowest level since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment reported Thursday that 3,317 regular initial unemployment claims were filed the week ending July 24. There were also 1,119 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims filed for the same week.

“We are thrilled to see the number of weekly initial claims filed back on a downward trajectory and nearing our pre-pandemic levels,” CDLE Executive Director Joe Barela said in a statement. “As Colorado’s economy begins to rebound, we’re focused now on connecting Coloradans to available work opportunities before the federally funded pandemic benefits end in the coming weeks.”

CDLE will return to administering its regular state unemployment benefits in early September. Under the American Rescue Plan Act, the last payable week for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefits is the week ending Sept. 4. Coloradans currently receiving these benefits will not be able to request payment from these programs after that date.

As of July 17, there were about 98,000 Coloradans receiving continued PUA and PEUC benefits. These claimants would stop receiving these payments after Sept. 4 should they still be unemployed at that time. An additional 36,000 Coloradans currently receiving the $300 weekly FPUC payment on top of their regular unemployment payment will lose the $300 supplement after Sept. 4. Regular state unemployment benefit payments will continue for everyone who still has an available balance on their standard unemployment insurance claim.

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