Colorado Employment Situation December 2011

Nonfarm payroll jobs in Colorado decreased by 4,400 from November to December to 2,244,800 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Government increased by 200 payroll jobs and the private sector declined by 4,600. 

According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.9 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force increased 12,100 to 2,727,300 and total employment increased 12,300 to 2,511,300 causing the number of unemployed to decline 300. The national unemployment rate declined two-tenths of one percentage point over the same period to 8.5 percent. 

Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from 34.3 to 34.6 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $24.09 to $24.15.  The largest over the month private sector job declines were in professional and business services, other services, and financial activities. 

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 23,600 with an increase of 23,800 in the private sector and a decrease of 200 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and education and health services. The largest declines were in construction, financial activities, and information. 

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down one percentage point from 8.9 percent in December 2010. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 58,900, total employment increased 80,900 and the number of unemployed decreased 22,000. The national unemployment rate declined from 9.4 to 8.5 percent from December 2010 to December 2011. 

The unemployment percentages for southeast Colorado counties is as follows: 

                                    Dec 2011        Nov 2011        Dec 2010 

Baca                            3.7                   4.1                   4.3
Bent                             8.1                   8.4                   8.0
Kiowa                           4.0                   4.1                   4.7
Kit Carson                     4.3                   4.7                   4.9
Las Animas                   8.7                   8.2                   9.3
Crowley                         9.5                   9.6                 10.8
Otero                            8.4                   8.4                    9.0
Prowers                        5.6                   5.8                    6.6


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