Colorado added 12,838 jobs in April, but employment totals remain below 2009 levels. According to the most recent employment data released by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, total employment, not seasonally adjusted, rose to 2,451,424 jobs during April 2010, but the employment total was 51,409 below April 2009's employment total of 2,502,833 jobs.
The total labor force also remains down 58,718 from a year earlier with a labor force of 2,658,438 workers during April of this year as compared to 2,717,156 during April of last year.
From March to April, the unadjusted unemployment rate fell from 8.4 percent to 7.8 percent, and the rate fell year over year from April 2009’s unemployment rate of 7.9 percent.
Since the peak of the labor market in July 2008, when total employment was 2,621,081, more than 169,000 jobs have been lost, and the labor force has shrunk by more than 98,000.
As jobs have been slowly added to the Colorado economy, discouraged workers and new graduates have also entered the work force. In March, 5,547 jobs were added, but 8,594 workers also entered the labor force, driving the unemployment rate up.
Nationally, hiring for the census bureau has been noted as a significant factor driving totals in new hires. In Colorado specifically, new monthly hiring data for the census is not available, but more than 11,000 workers have been hired for the census effort in Colorado over the last eighteen months. While significant, it does not appear that census hiring at the state level has had as notable an impact as at the national level.
Among Colorado metropolitan areas, Grand Junction showed the highest unemployment rate at 9.2 percent, while the Boulder-Longmont and Fort Collins-Loveland areas showed the lowest rates as 5.9 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively.
Although all metropolitan areas in Colorado experienced job growth from March to April, all metro areas lost jobs from April 2009 to April 2010.
Unemployment rates in all metro areas for April 2010 were Boulder-Longmont, 5.9 percent; Denver-Aurora, 7.8 percent; Greeley, 9.0 percent; Fort Collins-Loveland, 6.4 percent; Grand Junction, 9.2 percent; Pueblo, 8.9 percent.