If there’s anything we’ve learned from the pandemic, it’s that if employers can’t maintain their businesses, employees are in trouble. And if employees can’t get back to work, employers are also in trouble. We need to have the systems and supports in place to make both parts of that equation work.
With mask mandates lifted and businesses returning to 100% capacity, the demand for workers is quickly skyrocketing. That has made it difficult for many employers to hire back fast enough. While some states chose to end federal unemployment benefits early, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced a different approach last week – incentivizing workers to get jobs with cash payments.
Through the Colorado Jumpstart Incentive program, workers who get back to work by the end of May will receive $1,600. If they get back to work by the end of June, that incentive will be $1,200. They need to maintain employment for at least eight weeks to receive the full incentive, and the payments will be issued in two installments in July and August.
To be eligible, unemployed workers must have received at least one week of unemployment benefits of $25 or more between March 28 and May 16. Workers also must opt into the program, and employers don’t need to do anything.
We think this is a great approach to get Coloradans back to work. About 190,000 workers are still receiving unemployment benefits, with 100,000 jobs available, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. This has been a challenging year and this program provides workers and their families one more resource to support returning to work and rebuilding our economy.
Learn more about the program on the state’s website.
Kelly Brough is the president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber