Moffat County unemployment hovers around 5.6 percent

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These are unprecedented times at Flint Personnel Services, said Christopher Skowronski, office manager for the temporary work hiring firm on downtown Yampa Avenue.

“We’ve definitely seen an increase of applications and people looking for work, as well as a decrease in what we would call day labor jobs that are available,” he said. “We’re seeing things that are unprecedented as far as layoffs and things getting real tight for a lot of people.”

The construction industry has been Flint’s bread and butter, Skowronski added, but that has been severely impacted by the ongoing recession.

He hopes Colorado North­western Community College’s multi-phased and multi-million dollar campus building project near The Memorial Hospital’s new building will help suture the bleeding until the economy turns around.

“Anything like that helps,” Skowronski said. “That should be a great thing for us.”

Regional unemployment has mostly hung steady since August, according to statistics from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

The agency’s Labor Market Information Web site reported Moffat County’s unadjusted unemployment rate was 5.7 percent in November, the latest month available.

That mark is slightly higher than October, which registered 5.4 percent unemployment, and slightly down from August, which the state reported had a 5.8 percent unemployment rate.

November’s unemployment figures also show Moffat County has not been immune to the national recession. Last month’s unemployment rate is almost 50 percent higher than the previous year in November 2008, when unemployment was reported at 4 percent.

Job losses have been greater in Routt County, which went from a 4.3 percent unemployment rate in November 2008 to 6.6 percent in November this year.

Unlike Moffat County, unemployment has steadily risen since August, up from 6 percent then to 6.6 percent in November.

Rio Blanco County continues to have the lowest unemployment rates in the Northwest Colorado region.

The state reported Rio Blanco County had a 3.9 percent unemployment rate in November, down from 4.6 percent in August, and up from 2.9 percent in November 2008.

None of the three counties have ever met or exceeded the state’s average unemployment rate since the recession began in fall 2008.

The state average in November was 6.7 percent, down from the 7.1 percent reported in August, but up from the 5.4 percent unemployment rate seen in November 2008.

The worst part for Skowronski and some of the people he knows in the area isn’t the statistics, however.

The scary part to him is not knowing what they mean for the future.

“Everyone is worried because there’s so much uncertainty of where jobs will be coming from,” he said.

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