Labor scene grim

April numbers show 1.6 percentage point increase from March

Learn more

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment allows people to file for and get information about unemployment benefits on its Web site, www.coworkforce.com. Those filing new claims also can call 1-866-422-0401. People who have old claims, who have questions or who need to reopen existing claims can call 1-800-388-5515.

— Routt County's unemployment rate increased from 6 percent in March to 7.6 percent in April.

"That's quite a jump," said Brian Bradbury, an employment specialist at the Colorado Workforce Center. It could reflect an adjustment from ski season to mud season in the area, he acknowledged. The figure is not adjusted for typical seasonal employment changes.

Leisure and hospitality cut 4,600 positions statewide in April, according to a news release from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Colorado decreased one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.4 percent in April, Donald Mares, executive director of the department, said in the release.

"While this marks the first time since October 2007 that the unemployment rate has fallen, continued job losses likely will push Colorado's unemployment rate still higher in the upcoming months," Mares said. Colorado's rate was 4.7 percent a year ago.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the nation's unemployment rate increased to 8.9 percent, according to the release.

Moffat County's unemployment rate decreased to 6.7 percent in April, from 7.1 percent in March, Bradbury said. Moffat's labor force is about 8,500, and Routt County's is about 15,000, he said. That's a decrease from about 16,200 in March.

Fifty-four Colorado counties recorded lower employment rates during the month, and 10 posted rates higher than their March levels, according to the state news release.

The lowest rate was 3.3 percent in Cheyenne County.

Dolores and San Juan counties posted the highest rates at 14.9 and 10.8 percent, respectively.

None of the county figures are seasonally adjusted.

The April numbers reflect 1,144 people who have made claims for unemployment benefits in Routt, Bradbury said. Those numbers are only part of the picture of how the recession has affected county employees, Bradbury said.

"That's not the real story," he said. "There's people that have lost their benefits, been denied their benefits, where their jobs have gone from full time to part time."

The Workforce Center is putting on a resource fair for job seekers from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Olympian Hall in Howelsen Lodge. Those who need help also can visit the center's office at 425 Anglers Drive.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment allows people to file for and get information about unemployment benefits on its Web site, www.coworkforce.com. Those filing new claims also can call 1-866-422-0401. People who have old claims, who have questions or who need to reopen existing claims can call 1-800-388-5515.

The first number is new, Bradbury said, and it is meant to decrease the waiting time for people filing claims. He encouraged people to read documents carefully and seek help if they have even one question about unemployment benefits.

"We see people now that are creating more stress for themselves by not following all the rules and regulations," Bradbury said.

- To reach Blythe Terrell, call 871-4234 or e-mail bterrell@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.