Colorado Employment Situation – July 2012

Nonfarm payroll jobs increased 4,500 from June to July for a total of 2,294,900 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 4,200 and government increased 300.

According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate increased one tenth of one percentage point over the month to 8.3 percent.  “The increase in the unemployment rate was caused by a larger decline in the number of people reporting their status as employed than the decline in the number of people actively participating in the labor force.”  The national unemployment rate also increased one tenth of one percentage point over the same period to 8.3 percent. Prior to the last two months the last time the Colorado unemployment rate matched that of the nation was October 2005.

Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from 34.7 to 35.7 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $23.75 to $24.68. 

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

Over the year, the unemployment rate is unchanged from 8.3 percent in July 2011. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 16,200, total employment increased 15,400 and the number of unemployed increased 800. The national unemployment rate declined from 9.1 percent in July 2011 to 8.3 percent in July 2012. 

The unemployment percentages for southeast Colorado counties are as follows:

                                July 2012          Unemployed         July 2012                July 2011 

Baca                          3.5                      103                        3.1                          4.1
Bent                         7.4                       201                        6.9                         7.6
Kiowa                       3.2                        40                         3.1                         3.9
Kit Carson                4.5                       231                        4.3                         4.9
Las Animas             11.0                       873                       11.3                       10.1
Crowley                  10.3                       186                       10.1                         9.0
Otero                       9.7                        916                       9.3                         9.7
Prowers                   6.6                        495                        6.2                         6.1 

Costilla County has the highest unemployment percentage in Colorado at 14.0, followed by Huerfano County at 12.2.


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