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Unemployment Levels Continue To Decline In Colorado

Colorado Department of Labor and Employment
Bureau of Labor Statistics

June 2014 marks yet another gain in job growth and a steadily decreasing unemployment rate for Colorado. These gains can be thanked largely on the public sector, although private sector jobs are on the rise as well.  

The state comes out ahead compared to the national average with several northern Front Range counties faring significantly better than the rest of the state.

Colorado's unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent from 5.8 percent in May, largely thanks to the addition of 3,000 nonfarm payroll jobs. That marks 32 consecutive months of job growth and the lowest unemployment rate since October of 2008 when the jobless levels hovered at 5.3 percent.

Part of the decrease can be attributed to a reduced overall labor force which dropped by 1,600 people over the month, yet the number of Coloradoans who reported being employed increased by 7,700.

Most of the private sector job gains were in transportation, trade and utilities with a drop in construction, leisure and hospitality.

Denver County has the same unemployment levels as the entire state. Other Front Range counties including Weld, Larimer, Boulder and Broomfield all have lower unemployment rates compared to Denver County and Colorado as a whole.

Larimer County fares the best with a rate of 4.2 percent down from 4.8 percent in December of 2013 and 5.8 percent in 2012. The low unemployment number is overshadowed when it comes to average income, which for 2013 came out at an average hourly wage of $22.50 and annual salaries averaged at $46,800.

Compare that to Broomfield County which has a higher unemployment rate of 4.7 percent for June but average hourly wages in 2013 were $34.18 with annual salaries at $71, 084. The December 2013 unemployment rate was significantly higher at 5.5 percent.

Colorado’s jobless levels continue below the national average which had an unemployment rate of 6.1 percent for June 2014. Colorado does stand out to the majority of its neighbors in economic growth. In much of the West, unemployment rates averaged at 6.7 percent. The exception to the rule was once again Utah and Wyoming, which had unemployment rates of 3.5 and 4 percent, respectively.

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