Colorado unemployment rate remains steady

Filed under: Focus |

The unemployment rate for the state of Colorado is at 4.9 percent, a welcome change from 6.1 percent at this time last year. On July 20, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment released figures for state labor force developments for June 2004. The unemployment rate is adjusted seasonally and has remained stable during the last few months.

Nonagricultural wage and salary jobs have in the state have increased to 2,180,400 from 2,166,700 a year ago, according to state survey results.

Colorado Springs usually has a higher unemployment rate than the state overall, said Peggy Herbertson, director of the Pikes Peak Workforce Center. But there has been some good news in the Colorado Springs/Metro area so far this summer. The number of jobs in several industries around the city increased during the month of June. “Construction has gone up a little – so have leisure and hospitality, and that’s pretty normal this time of year,” Herbertson said. “Retail and trade are also showing a lot of growth.”

Colorado’s leisure and hospitality industry gained 14,800 jobs during the month of June, according to the study by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Construction jobs around the state have increased by 5,500.

Jobs in professional and business services, educational and health services and the government sector decreased from May through the end of June, Herbertson said. Across the state, government jobs have decreased by 6,800. Official unemployment statistics for the Colorado Springs/Metro area will not be released until later this summer, Herbertson said.

“Our economy here seems to be getting better. The overall trend is improving, but not by leaps and bounds,” Herbertson said. “If we can stay on this course, it would be nice.”

Herbertson said she has not been seeing as many people come into the Pikes Peak Workforce Center as compared to other times during the year. “Some people get discouraged,” she said. Those who have faced unemployment know how frustrating the job search can be. However, many unemployed Colorado Springs residents choose not to throw in the towel. “We’re still working with people who have been unemployed for two years or more. It’s good that they’re still working with us,” Herbertson said.

The Pikes Peak Workforce Center can be reached on the Web at www.ppwfc.org or by phone at (719) 667-3700.

- Stephanie.Cline@csbj.com