Colorado Announces Labor Force Numbers and Trends


Denver, CO  (CompNewsNetwork) -  Donald J. Mares, Executive Director of Colorado Department of  Labor announces trends in employment for February 2008.

The State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate trended up two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.4 percent in February, according to Donald J. Mares, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.  "While the rising unemployment rate reflects some weakening of the Colorado economy, job creation continues to increase at a moderate clip," noted Mares, "an indication the State’s economy is still expanding."  The current unemployment rate is the highest in one and a half years, and it is up six-tenths of a percentage point from 3.8 percent last February.

After adjusting for normal seasonal labor force movements, the number of employed Colorado residents fell 7,200 over the month to 2,637,100.  Total employment has increased 60,300 since last February.  Unemployment, meanwhile, rose 4,800 to 120,800, up 17,900 from one year ago.  

Forty-three counties saw jobless rates move higher over the month.  Pitkin County enjoyed the lowest unemployment rate at 2.4 percent.  The highest rate, 11.6 percent, was registered in San Juan County.

Wage and Salary Employment

 Total nonfarm wage and salary employment in the State increased 13,100 in February, according to the monthly survey of Colorado businesses.  The increase was about typical for the month with employment expanding in five industries, contracting in three and changing little in two.  Seasonal gains in the state and local education components accounted for eighty percent of the 13,100 increase in government.  Half of the 3,000 positions created in education and health services were also due to seasonal hiring in education.  Payrolls in professional and business services advanced 1,200, while construction rebounded from a lackluster January to add 1,000 jobs.  Financial activities showed a departure from its recent downward trend with a gain of 600, while natural resources and mining added 500 jobs to continue its unabated expansion.

 Trade, transportation and utilities fell 3,600 as retailers trimmed their remaining seasonal holiday help.   Manufacturing declined 2,200 and other services trimmed 400 positions.

 There are now 2,327,700 wage and salary workers on payrolls across the State, an increase of 47,200 or 2.1 percent over the last twelve months.  This expansion was primarily concentrated in five industries.  Government gained 10,700 jobs; leisure and hospitality added 9,000; education and health services, along with trade, transportation and utilities, and professional and business services each increased by slightly less than 9,000.  The State’s smallest sector, natural resources and mining, advanced 3,200 over the past twelve months.  Other services expanded by 1,800 positions, while construction and information have each posted smaller increases since last January.

 Manufacturing employment is down 3,300 and payrolls in financial activities fell 2,300 from year-ago staffing levels.


 The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the nation’s unemployment rate edged down one-tenth of a percentage point this month as 450,000 people left the labor force.  In February, total payroll employment fell 63,000, with private-sector employment falling by 101,000.  Private sector payrolls have now fallen for three consecutive months.  Over the month job losses occurred in construction, manufacturing and retail trade. Health care and food services continued to add jobs.

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