Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Unemployment rates below national rate in Boulder, Ft. Collins and Denver area.

The BLS released its report last week on August 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 Colorado, Greeley, Grand Junction, Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction have unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) above the national rate of 8.2 percent (not seasonally adjusted). During August 2012, Denver Boulder, metro Denver and the Ft. Collins-Loveland area had unemployment rates below 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) remains below the national rate, and has been below or equal to the national rate since 2005.

The Boulder and Fort Collins areas have posted better unemployment rates than the nation for quite some time. Denver has dropped below the national rate in recent months. Metro-area unemployment rate can be found here.

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:

Unemployment rates were lower in August than a year earlier in 325 of the 372 metropolitan areas,  higher in 40 areas, and unchanged in 7 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Five  areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, while 20 areas registered rates of less than 5.0  percent. Two hundred seventy-four metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm  payroll employment, 92 reported decreases, and 6 had no change. The national unemployment rate in  August was 8.2 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 9.1 percent a year earlier.