Springs jobless rate rises slightly

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The Colorado Springs jobless rate rose to 8.6 percent last month from 8.5 percent the previous month, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment reported today.

And, while unemployment claims rose by 100, it was mostly the result of 3,700 people vacated the job market by stopping their search for a job.

Payrolls last month were down 2.1 percent from a year earlier, but that is less than half of the rate of the year-over-year job losses reported between May 2009 and September 2009.

The statewide unemployment rate in May remained unchanged from April at 8 percent, while statewide payrolls were off 1.9 percent from a year earlier, the smallest year-over-year decline since January 2009.

Denver’s rate was listed at 7.6 percent and Boulder’s at 5.8 percent, which is the city’s pre-recession level.

“While Census hiring is providing a brief boost in Colorado jobs and our unemployment rate is lower than this time last year, the labor market remains weak,” said Don Mares, executive director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
Most sectors remained steady or shed jobs. Total employment in the state has actually declined by 46,500 jobs since May of 2009.

Government jobs jumped by 7,800 positions, of which 7,600 were temporary census-related positions.

The number of working Coloradans increased 1,100 over the month to 2,456,900. The civilian labor force increased 1,600 to 2,670,700. The number of residents unsuccessfully looking for work increased 500 over the month to 213,800. One year ago, total employment was 2,503,400 and the number of unemployed was 225,000.

Employment increased in three of Colorado’s eleven major industry sectors over the month. Construction added 1,500 jobs due to greater than normal seasonal hiring and other services increased by 800.

Employment in trade, transportation and utilities declined by 1,600 exhibiting weakness across all sectors. Financial activities and information declined 1,100 and 1,000, respectively.

Other losses included leisure and hospitality (700), manufacturing (500), and professional and business services (300). Mining and logging, along with education and health services were essentially unchanged.