Friday, March 23, 2012

Grand Junction, Pueblo, Colo. Springs and Greeley unemployment above U.S. unemployment rate

The BLS released its report today on 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, Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction and Greeley have unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) above the national rate of 8.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted). During January 2012, Denver metro, Boulder and the Ft. Collins-Loveland area had unemployment rates below the national rate.

The map:

Statewide, Colorado's unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) remains below the national rate, and has been below 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 in the past several months dropped below the national rate.

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.

According to today's BLS report:

Unemployment rates were lower in January than a year earlier in 345 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 16 areas, and unchanged in 11 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Thirteen areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, and 13 areas registered rates of less than 5.0 percent. Two hundred seventy metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 94 reported decreases, and 8 had no change. The national unemployment rate in January was 8.8 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 9.8 percent a year earlier.

Click here to see recent trends in Colorado's metro areas.