Friday, September 16, 2011

Among the states, Colorado posts 24th highest unemployment rate

According to the BLS press release:

Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in August. Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia reported unemployment rate increases, 12 states recorded rate decreases, and 12 states had no rate change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Thirty-seven states registered unemployment ratedecreases from a year earlier, 11 states and the District of Columbia had increases, and 2 states experienced no change. The national jobless rate was unchanged at 9.1 percent but was 0.5 percentage point lower than a year earlier.

23 states reported unemployment rates that were higher than Colorado's, including California, Nevada, Florida, Michigan and Washington State.

Colorado's unemployment rate has moved below the national rate for the fifth month in a row following a three month period(January-March 2011) during which Colorado's unemployment rate was higher than the nation's. Prior to January 2011, the unemployment rate in Colorado had been below the national rate for several years.

The graph shows a comparison between the two rates since 2006:

The unemployment rate in Colorado remained the same from July to August, remaining at 8.5 percent, according to the seasonally-adjusted numbers. The national rate also held steady at 9.1 percent.

The BLS map below shows state-by-state comparisons.

Within the Rocky Mountain region, Colorado has the third highest unemployment rate:
Arizona, 9.3%
Colorado, 8.5%
Idaho, 9.2%
Montana, 7.8%
New Mexico, 6.6%
Utah, 7.6%
Wyoming, 5.8%

With Colorado's unemployment rate below the national rate, Colorado may continue to be seen as a desirable location for job seekers. This may in turn impact overall household formation in Colorado and the demand for housing.

Colorado remains in the middle of the pack when it comes to statewide unemployment rates. At the regional level, however, Colorado contains some metro areas that have unemployment rate well below the national rate, such as the Boulder area and the Fort Collins area.