Colorado Announced Recent Labor Force
Denver, CO (CompNewsNetwork) - Colorado's
seasonally adjusted unemployment rate jumped four-tenths of one percentage point in
December to 4.5 percent, according to Donald J. Mares, Executive Director of the Colorado
Department of Labor and Employment. "A softening national economy along with
continued weakness in construction and manufacturing is beginning to have an impact upon
Colorado's labor force,"noted Mares. Over the last two months the jobless rate has
increased 0.8 percentage points, the largest cumulative two month increase in about six
years. Last December the unemployment rate stood at 4.0 percent.
The seasonally adjusted results from the household survey showed that the number of
employed Coloradans edged downward 11,800 in December to 2,602,700. Total employment
is up 27,700 over the past twelve months. The number of unemployed residents
increased 10,600 during the month to 121,500. Last year at this time unemployment
stood at 106,500.
Fifty-four of Colorado's 64 counties posted higher unemployment rates in December, nine
experienced lower rates, and one remained unchanged. Rio Blanco County had the lowest
rate at 2.2 percent while San Juan County registered the highest rate at 8.3 percent.
Despite the rise in unemployment over the past two months preliminary results indicate
that Colorado's job market displayed some improvement in 2007. At 3.8 percent, the
State's annual average unemployment rate fell from the 4.3 percent recorded in 2006.
Nonfarm job growth for all of 2007 is estimated to be 45,500 or 2.0 percent and marks the
fourth straight year of job gains. As usual, labor force and employment data for the
past several years will be revised and are scheduled to be released in March.
Wage and Salary Employment
According to the monthly survey of Colorado businesses, wage and salary employment rose
19,700 during the month to 2,366,400. The gain exceeded seasonal expectations, with
nine of the State's eleven major industries adding positions. Highly seasonal
industries saw the most robust employment changes. Ski industry hiring prompted
leisure and hospitality payrolls to rise 12,800 and holiday retail hiring drove employment
in trade, transportation and utilities up 6,900. Professional and business services
gained 1,800 positions and financial activities trended up 1,500. Education and
health services realized 1,300 net hires and other services added 800 positions.
Manufacturing gained 500, while information, along with natural resources and mining, edged
up 300 jobs apiece.
Cold, snowy weather during the reference week contributed to the loss of 5,200 jobs in
construction. Government experienced a typical employment decline of about 1,300 with
the losses concentrated in state and local education.
Since last December, payroll employment has grown 45,900, for an annual increase of 2.0
percent. More than three-quarters of these positions came from three
industries—professional and business services, up 13,500; trade, transportation and
utilities, up 10,900; and education and health services, up 10,300. Leisure and
hospitality gained 7,200 workers and government added 5,700. Natural resources and
mining comprises just over 1 percent of total nonfarm employment, but its 4,400 new
positions accounted for about 10 percent of Colorado's over the year growth. Other
services gained 2,000 workers, information payrolls increased by 1,600, and financial
activities remained unchanged over the year.
Manufacturing shed 6,300 workers since last December and construction pared
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