The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has set Oct. 26 as the new deadline by which people on unemployment must certify their eligibility if they want to claim Lost Wages Assistance program payments.

State officials estimate that between 70,000 and 80,000 Coloradans eligible for the program known as LWA have not called or logged into the state’s automated system to certify that they were out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic during the period the program covers.

That certification is required for people who are collecting state benefits to claim the $300 per week in extra support, up to $1,800 total, for the weeks between July 26 and Sept. 5.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded Colorado $553 million to pay eligible people through the LWA program. So far the state has sent out about $350 million in payments, labor department deputy executive director Cher Haavind said, leading officials to extend the certification period by a few weeks.

“We certainly don’t want these funds to go to waste, and we want individuals who could benefit from these additional funds to take advantage of this program,” Haavind said.

The state is planning an outgoing call and email campaign to reach eligible people.

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(Bloomberg) — Australia will provide a wage subsidy to encourage businesses to hire as many as 100,000 new apprentices or trainee workers as part of its budget strategy to create jobs and boost incomes.



a large building: Workers labor at a construction site in Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. A twin-speed economy is developing in Australia and posing a challenge for the central bank, as Chinese demand for iron ore buoys the resource-rich west while eastern states struggle with Covid-19 outbreaks and border closures.


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Workers labor at a construction site in Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. A twin-speed economy is developing in Australia and posing a challenge for the central bank, as Chinese demand for iron ore buoys the resource-rich west while eastern states struggle with Covid-19 outbreaks and border closures.

The A$1.2 billion ($860 million) program, which will pay for half of the apprentice’s wage in the first year, will be available from Oct. 5, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Sunday in an emailed statement.

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“Apprenticeships are an important pathway to get young people into jobs and to ensure there is a skills pipeline to meet the future needs of employers,” Morrison said. “Whether it’s the manufacturing, housing and construction, arts or mining sectors — this new wage subsidy gives businesses certainty to hire and provides a career path to aspiring, young tradies.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is set to ditch fiscal restraints and unveil a massive surge in government spending to restart the economy when he presents his budget on Oct. 6. The government has signaled the budget focus will be on creating new jobs and boosting incomes. Several ministers have reinforced that message including on TV interviews Sunday.

The subsidy will be available to employers who engage an Australian apprentice or trainee from Oct. 5 until the 100,000 cap is reached. Employers will be able to receive as much as A$7,000 per quarter under the program.

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Uber’s treatment of its drivers has been under intense scrutiny this year, with many localities enforcing new rules on the ride-sharing company, including hourly wages. On Tuesday, Seattle became the latest city to enforce a minimum hourly wage on both Uber and Lyft.

As of January, both ride-sharing operations will be required to pay drivers at least $16 an hour, the minimum wage in Seattle for businesses with 500 or more employees. The decision to enforce this rule on Uber and Lyft was passed by the Seattle City Council in a unanimous 9-0 vote, the New York Times reports.

“The pandemic has exposed the fault lines in our systems of worker protections, leaving many frontline workers like gig workers without a safety net,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said about the decision.

Seattle is the second major city to pass a measure like this, following on from New York City’s measure in 2018. The minimum wage for these drivers in the Big Apple is currently set at $17.22 after expenses.

California as a whole also recently passed a bill that requires ride-sharing companies to classify drivers as employees and not independent contractors, which had allowed them to avoid paying hourly minimum wage, offering overtime pay, offering workers’ compensation, and providing unemployment insurance.

Uber and Lyft, for their parts, have strongly opposed these measures, attempting to spin their treatment of drivers as necessary for keeping costs low. Both have supported a measure on the California ballot in November that would exempt their drivers from the law reclassifying them as employees.

Uber said it intends to become "zero emissions" by 2040 as it moves to transition mainly to electric vehicles, as part of an effort to fight climate change Uber said it intends to become “zero emissions” by 2040 as it moves to transition mainly to electric vehicles, as part of an effort to fight climate change Photo: AFP / Josh Edelson

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