Friday, April 20, 2012

Colorado 31st in nation for unemployment during March

The Bureau of Labor Statistics last week released employment information on all states for March 2012.

According to the BLS press release:

Regional and state unemployment rates were little changed in March. Thirty states recorded unemployment rate decreases, 8 states posted rate increases, and 12 states and the District of Columbia had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia registered unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, while New York experienced an increase. The national jobless rate was little changed from February at 8.2 percent but was 0.7 percentage point lower than in March 2011.

Colorado was not among the 18 states that reported statistically significant decreases in the unemployment rate, year over year. 19 states reported unemployment rates that were higher than Colorado's, including California, Nevada, Florida and Michigan.

Colorado's unemployment rate remains below that of the nation overall, continuing a trend that has been in place since 2005. Earlier comparisons of Colorado and national unemployment rates had shown Colorado above the national rate during early 2011, but data revised in early 2012 shows that Colorado has not edged above the national rate in almost seven years.

The graph shows a comparison between the two rates since 2006:

The unemployment rate in Colorado, seasonally adjusted, has been flat at 7.8 percent since January. The national rate fell to 8.2 percent.

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

Within the Rocky Mountain region, Colorado has the third highest unemployment rate:
Arizona, 8.6%
Colorado, 7.8%
Idaho, 7.9%
Montana, 6.2%
New Mexico, 7.2%
Utah, 5.8%
Wyoming, 5.3%

Colorado remains in the middle of the pack when it comes to statewide unemployment rates, but has seen its rate rise above more states in recent months. 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.