Friday, June 18, 2010

Total employment falls in Colorado

Colorado lost 10,200 jobs in May, but the unemployment rate fell slightly as more than 14,000 people left the work force during the month. According to the most recent employment data released by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, total employment in May, not seasonally adjusted, fell to 2,441,019 jobs, with the employment total falling 53,000 below May 2009's total of 2,494,000 jobs.

The total labor force also remains down 70,300 from a year earlier with a labor force of 2,645,000 workers during May of this year as compared to 2,715,000 during May of last year.

From April to May, the unadjusted unemployment rate fell from 7.8 percent to 7.7 percent, and the rate fell year over year from May 2009’s unemployment rate of 8.2 percent.

Since the peak of the labor market in July 2008, when total employment was 2,621,081, more than 180,000 jobs have been lost, and the labor force has shrunk by more than 111,000.

Last month, hiring for the census bureau had 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 8.8 percent, while the Boulder-Longmont and Fort Collins-Loveland areas showed the lowest rates as 5.8 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively.

All metropolitan areas in Colorado, except Greeley and Grand Junction experienced job declines from April to May, and all metro areas lost jobs from May 2009 to May 2010.

Unemployment rates in all metro areas for April 2010 were Boulder-Longmont, 5.8 percent; Denver-Aurora, 7.7 percent; Greeley, 8.7 percent; Fort Collins-Loveland, 6.2 percent; Grand Junction, 8.8 percent; Pueblo, 8.8 percent.