Friday, October 21, 2011

Colorado 24th in nation for unemployment during September

The Bureau of Labor Statistics today released employment information on all states.

According to the BLS press release:

Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in September. Twenty-five states recorded unemployment rate decreases, 14 states posted rate increases, and 11 states and the District of Columbia had no rate change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Thirty-eight states registered unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, 10 states and the District of Columbia had increases, and 2 states experienced no change. The national jobless rate was unchanged at 9.1 percent, but was 0.5 percentage point lower than a year earlier.

Colorado was maong the 25 states that reported decreases in the unemployment rate. 23 states reported unemployment rates that were higher than Colorado's, including California, Nevada, Florida and Michigan.

Colorado's unemployment rate has moved 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 graph shows a comparison between the two rates since 2006:

The unemployment rate in Colorado fell from August to September, dropping from 8.5 percent to 8.3 percent, according to the seasonally-adjusted numbers. The national rate also held steady at 9.1 percent.

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, 8.3%
Idaho, 9.0%
Montana, 7.7%
New Mexico, 6.6%
Utah, 7.4%
Wyoming, 5.8%

With Colorado's unemployment rate 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.

Colorado remains in the middle of the pack when it comes to statewide unemployment rates. At the regional level, however, Colorado contains some metro areas that have unemployment rate well below the national rate, such as the Boulder area and the Fort Collins area.