Thursday, December 1, 2011

Colorado has 25th-best unemployment rate in nation

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

According to the BLS press release:

Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed or slightly lower in October. Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia recorded unemployment rate decreases, five states posted rate increases, and nine states had no rate change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty states registered unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, eight states and the District of Columbia had increases, and two states experienced no change. The national jobless rate was little changed at 9.0 percent, but was 0.7 percentage point lower than a year earlier.

Colorado was among the 36 states that reported decreases in the unemployment rate. 25 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 seventh 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 September to October, dropping from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent, according to the seasonally-adjusted numbers. The national rate also fell to 9.0 percent.

The BLS map below shows state-by-state comparisons.

Within the Rocky Mountain region, Colorado has the third highest unemployment rate:
Arizona, 9.0%
Colorado, 8.1%
Idaho, 8.8%
Montana, 7.6%
New Mexico, 6.6%
Utah, 7.0%
Wyoming, 5.7%

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.