Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Grand Junct., Greeley, Colo. Springs and Pueblo areas post higher unemployment than nation

The BLS released its report today on April 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 of the report shows that among the metro areas in Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction and Greeley have unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) above the national rate of 8.4 percent (not seasonally adjusted). During June 2012, Denver metro has fallen below the national rate again after a short period above the national rate.

The map shows how most metro areas are now above the national unemployment rate.

The map:

Statewide, Colorado's unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) is now equal with the national rate, and the unadjusted rate is also equal with the national rate at 8.4 percent.

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.

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. In recent months, however, the gap between the Colorado and the national unemployment rate has narrowed with unemployment declining faster at the national level than in Colorado.

According to today's BLS report:
In June, 65 metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent, down from 122 areas a year earlier, while 94 areas posted rates below 7.0 percent, up from 57 areas in June of last year. El Centro, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., recorded the highest unemployment rates in June, 28.2 and 27.9 percent, respectively. Bismarck, N.D., registered the lowest unemployment rate, 2.8 percent. A total of 207 areas recorded June unemployment rates below the U.S. figure of 8.4 percent, 161 areas reported rates above it, and 4 areas had rates equal to that of the nation.