COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) — In the two weeks since the state of Colorado launched its Colorado Jumpstart Initiative, thousands of people have taken the $1,200 to $1,600 offer to return to the workforce amid a nationwide labor shortage.
According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, 7,953 people have been enticed to return to work since May 23, receiving either a $1,600 incentive to go back to work full-time in May or $1,200 in June.
To be eligible for an incentive, Colorado’s unemployed workers must have received at least one week of unemployment benefits of $25 or more between March 28, 2021, and May 16, 2021, and have verified their identities via ID.me. Coloradans must stay employed for at least eight weeks to receive the full benefit.
Still, many industries are hiring. A Facebook post soliciting workers at the popular North Pole attraction in Cascade has been shared more than 800 times by Monday night.
The owner of The North Pole told KRDO business is well exceeding the number of people visiting in summer 2019. He just needs more staff to keep up with the demand. After fully reopening seven days a week, The North Pole reduced its operating hours back to the off-season due to a lack of employees.
Other popular attractions like the casinos in Cripple Creek have reopened without COVID-19 limitations. However, a Cripple Creek casino manager told KRDO the lack of workers has reached a level of crisis. Rafting businesses in Cañon City say they could also use more river guides.