Southeast Colorado Unemployment Update

Colorado Employment Situation

Employers in Colorado added 4,700 nonfarm payroll jobs from January to February for a total of 2,288,900 nonfarm payroll jobs, according to the survey of business establishments.

Private sector payroll jobs increased 2,700 and government increased 2,000.  According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate was unchanged over the month at 7.8 percent. The national unemployment rate was also unchanged over the same period at 8.3 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from 33.9 to 34.4 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $24.09 to $24.33.

The largest over the month private sector job gains were in education and health services, and trade, transportation and utilities. The largest decline was in financial activities.

The largest private sector job gains were in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and education and health services.  Information and financial activities both declined.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down eight tenths of a percentage point from 8.6 percent in February 2011. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 7,500, total employment increased 29,300 and the number of unemployed decreased 21,800. The national unemployment rate declined from 9.0 to 8.3 percent from February 2011 to February 2012.

Percentages for unemployment in southeast Colorado are as follows:

Feb 2012    Unemployed    January 2012       February 2011

Baca                  4.1                   97                                4.5                                 4.6
Bent                   8.3                   209                              9.4                                 8.6
Kiowa                3.6                   36                                4.0                                 5.5
Kit Carson        5.1                   216                              5.2                                 5.8
Las Animas    10.4                  790                              10.4                             10.6
Crowley            9.0                   161                              9.5                               11.1
Otero                 9.1                   858                              9.5                                 9.5
Prowers            6.0                   409                              6.3                                 6.7

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