Friday, June 17, 2011

Colorado's unemployment rate moves below national rate for second month

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released new regional and state employment data today.

According to the BLS press release:

Twenty-four states recorded unemployment rate decreases, 13 states and the District of Columbia registered rate increases, and 13 states had no rate change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty-three states and the District of Columbia posted unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, four states reported increases, and three states had no change. The national jobless rate was essentially unchanged at 9.1 percent, but was 0.5 percentage point lower than a year earlier

Colorado's unemployment rate has moved below the national rate for the second 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 fell slightly from April to May, falling from 8.8 to 8.7 percent, according to the seasonally-adjusted numbers. The national rate rose slightly from 9.0 percent to 9.1 percent during the same period.

The BLS map below shows state by state comparisons.

Within the Rocky Mountain region, Colorado has the third highest unemployment rate:
Arizona, 9.1%
Colorado, 8.7%
Idaho, 9.4%
Montana, 7.3%
New Mexico, 6.9%
Utah, 7.3%
Wyoming, 6.0%

With Colorado's unemployment rate back 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.