S.E. Colorado Job Market Shows Slight Gain

Colorado nonfarm payroll jobs declined by 1,800 from July to August for a total of 2,239,900 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Government added 500 payroll jobs and the private sector lost 2,300. 

At 8.5 percent, the unemployment rate was unchanged from the previous month based on household survey results. The labor force decreased by 2,500 to 2,672,400 and total employment decreased 2,700 to 2,445,200 causing the number of unemployed to increase 200. The slight increase in the number of unemployed was not enough to impact the unemployment rate. The national unemployment rate also was unchanged over the same period at 9.1 percent. 

The largest over the month private sector job gains in August were in construction, education and health services, and other services. The largest declines were in leisure and hospitality, trade, transportation and utilities, and financial activities.  The largest private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality, education and health services, and professional and business services. The largest declines were in financial activities, construction and information. 

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down three-tenths of one percentage point from 8.8 percent in August 2010. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force declined 5,900, total employment increased 3,200 and the number of unemployed decreased 9,100. The national unemployment rate declined from 9.6 to 9.1 percent from August 2010 to 2011. 

The unemployment figures shown for southeast Colorado counties are in percentages: 

                             Aug 2011         July 2011        Aug 2010 

Baca                          3.5                   4.3                  3.8
Bent                           7.2                   8.5                  7.4
Kiowa                         3.8                   4.8                  4.4
Kit Carson                  4.5                    5.1                  4.3
Las Animas                8.4                    9.1                  9.2
Crowley                      8.2                    9.5                  9.4
Otero                          8.5                    9.5                  8.0
Prowers                      5.8                    6.8                  6.3

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