S. E. Colorado Employment Update

Employers in Colorado added 19,500 nonfarm payroll jobs from December to January for a total of 2,284,800 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 22,500 and government decreased 3,000. 

According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.8 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force decreased 3,900 to 2,730,100 and total employment decreased 1,900 to 2,517,100 causing the number of unemployed to decline 2,000. The national unemployment rate declined two tenths of one percentage point over the same period to 8.3 percent. 

The largest over the month private sector job gains were in construction, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality. There were no significant over the month declines in the private sector. 

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 43,400 with an increase of 44,500 in the private sector and a decrease of 1,100 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and education and health services. The largest decline was in information.   

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down one percentage point from 8.8 percent in January 2011. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 7,000, total employment increased 32,400 and the number of unemployed decreased 25,400. The national unemployment rate declined from 9.1 to 8.3 percent from January 2011 to January 2012. 

The unemployment percentages and number of unemployed for southeast Colorado are as follows:

                                        Jan 2012               Dec 2011              Jan 2011               # of jobless
Baca                                    4.5                          3.5                          5.3                          97
Bent                                     9.1                          7.2                          9.8                         207
Kiowa                                  4.2                          3.2                          6.1                          36
Kit Carson                          5.3                          4.3                          6.0                         215
Las Animas                      10.6                          9.8                        10.4                         789
Crowley                              9.6                           9.3                        11.9                        161
Otero                                   9.6                          8.3                        10.1                         858
Prowers                              6.2                          5.0                           7.2                         409



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