Suppose that somebody hasn't been able to get a better job than working in retail, and finally gets the opportunity to work in a better industry, like Engineering, IT, or Computer Science. Now suppose that this somebody quits the retail job and takes the new job, (with the more prestigious industry, with better pay). Unfortunately, because of "at will" employment, (which is in and of itself grossly unfair to the employee, but that will have to be a separate discussion), this new job decides to terminate this person, through no fault of his or her own, within just a few weeks after starting. This person would be worse off than before, now being unemployed, and unfortunately, not being able to get any help from so-called "Unemployment Benefits." This is because the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has unfair criteria for how they determine what benefits the unemployed person qualifies for.
For example, they don't have any set amount of money that they give people who need these benefits, and they certainly don't look at your monthly budget, or rent/mortgage amount, to see how much you actually need. What they actually do is to consider how much money you made during each quarter, going back about a year and three months from the time you file for Unemployment, but they don't count the most recent quarter. For example, if you file for Unemployment at the end of June of 2011, then they count the wages you made from April 2010 through March of 2011. If it was after March 2011 that you got that "better job" that terminated you in June, that's just too bad!
You would have had to have been at that "better job" at least three months before Unemployment would be willing to acknowledge any of the money you made there, even if they agree that it wasn't your fault that they terminated you. You would have had to have been there at least six months before they would give you credit for being there for a whole quarter (that they are willing to count), so as to be eligible for the full amount of benefits you ought to be. (Of all the quarters that they consider, when you made money, and left that particular job that you had then, for reasons they accept, they take the one with the greatest average amount earned, and give you about 60% of what you made then, in bi-weekly payments).
As I briefly explained above, they look at each individual job that you had, during each quarter that they are willing to look at, and they have to accept the reason why you left each individual one, before they would count any of the money you made, toward a potential benefit. This may be fair for people who have no sense of commitment, and would just quit a job at the drop of a hat, but this is not true of everybody. What if somebody had been working for a steady retail job for over three years, and then finally finishes a college degree in a good field, and gets an offer for a way better job? That new job had better work out, because if this person quits the retail job to take the "better" one, but gets terminated within just a few weeks, then THIS PERSON WOULD BE S.O.L. Unemployment doesn't think that quitting one job to take another one (even if it pays way better) is a "good enough" reason, so they won't count anything you made at that old job.
Another thing to consider is that this system penalizes people for being with their most recent employer only a short amount of time. This would be fair only if all terminations were for just cause. However, this State pretty much lets employers terminate their employees at the drop of a hat, with little or no recourse. It is interesting to note that during the 2006 Colorado midterm election, there was going to be a proposed ballot initiative to allow terminations only for just cause. However, it, along with a couple others, mysteriously disappeared from the ballot, just before Election Day that year. This proves that the Government, and its "services" are not really here to help us, or help the little guy. You can only count on them to take taxes from your hard-earned money, and give you nothing in return, but inefficiency, bureaucracy, and bailouts for Special Interests.