Thursday, November 10, 2011

Unemployment rates in all metro areas except Pueblo fall below national rate

The BLS released its report last week on unemployment in 372 metro areas in the US. The data for Colorado is not different from the statewide report already released by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The chart with local unemployment rates is here.

Nevertheless, the report does provide some comparisons with other metro areas in the nation. The map on the last page shows that the all metro areas in Colorado, except for Pueblo, have unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) below the national rate of 8.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted). This is a significant change from September when the Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, Pueblo and Greeley areas all reported unemployment rates above the national rate.

The map:

Statewide, Colorado's unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) remains below the national rate for the sixth 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 Boulder and Fort Collins areas have posted better unemployment rates than the nation for quite some time. Denver has in the past several months dropped below the national rate, and now only Pueblo remains above the national rate.

National comparisons remain important insofar as perceptions of the local job market drive household creation in Colorado. As long as Colorado is perceived as being a better job market than many metro areas in the nation, such a perceptions will foster household creation and population growth in the state.