Friday, September 21, 2012

Colorado unemployment rate falls below national rate for first time in four months

The Bureau of Labor Statistics today released employment information on all states for August 2012.The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for Colorado during July was 7.8 percent.

According to the BLS press release:

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia reported statistically significant unemployment rate decreases from August 2011, the largest of which occurred in Mississippi (-1.8 percentage points). New York experienced the only significant over-the-year increase in its unemployment rate (+0.8 percentage point).
Colorado was not one of the states that reported decreases in the unemployment rate, year over year. The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in Colorado fell from 8.3 percent to 7.8 percent from July to August, and it fell from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent from August 2011 to August 2012.

Much of the month-over-month decrease in Colorado was fueled by a decline in the total labor force size.

The national unemployment rate (seasonally-adjusted) was 8.1 percent during August.

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

See here for metro area unemployment info in Colorado.

For the first time in several months, the Colorado unemployment rate moved below the national unemployment rate. This will be good for ongoing in-migration of households to Colorado, although as noted recently, overall economic growth in Colorado may be in fact be lagging many states.

The states with the highest unemployment rates were Nevada and Rhode Island and California where the rates were 12.1 percent, 10.7 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively. The states with the lowest unemployment rates were South Dakota, Nebraska, and North Dakota, where the rates were 4.5 percent, 4.0 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively.