Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Colorado reports largest job gains in 53 months

Colorado gained 62,499 jobs in October 2011 compared to October of last year, and the non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate fell year-over-year from 8.4 percent to 7.7 percent. According to the most recent employment data, released yesterday by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, total employment in October, not seasonally adjusted, rose to 2.517 million jobs. There were also 46,000 more people in the work force during October, compared to October 2010.

From October 2010 to October 2011, total employment rose 2.5 percent, while the labor force rose 1.7 percent. The total labor force in October included 2.72 million workers.

As can be seen in the second graph, total employment and total workforce size have increased month-over-month. Year over year, both total employment and the labor force rose together. However, both remain well below the July 2008 peak.

The employment total is now 114,000 jobs below the peak levels experienced during July 2008 when there were 2.63 million employed workers. Compared to the labor force peak in July 2008, the labor force is now down by more than 39,700 workers.

In the third graph is shown the year-over-year comparisons, by percent, for total employment. October 2011 was the fourth month in a row showing a positive year-over-year change in total employment. This followed 33 months in a row of negative job growth in year-over-year comparisons. At 2.5 percent, the year-over-year percent change in total employment was the largest gain since July 2007 and was at a 53-month high in October 2011. Between August 2008 and July 2011, no month posted a positive change in total employment when compared to the same month a year earlier.

The graph also shows the year-over-change in the labor force. Total labor force size rose from October 2010 to October 2011, and was only the second time that the labor force has grown, year over year, since June 2009 . The labor force size had shrunk, year over year, for 26 months in a row from July 2009 to August 2011.

These numbers come from the Household Survey employment data, so the size of the workforce is dependent on the number of people stating that they are actively looking for work if not employed. Discouraged workers who have stopped looking for work are excluded.