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Monday, May 23, 2011

Colorado's unemployment rate moves above national rate for third month

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released new regional and state employment data today.

According to the BLS press release:

Thirty-four states recorded unemployment rate decreases, seven states registered rate increases, and nine states and the District of Columbia had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia posted unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, five states reported increases, and one state had no change. The national jobless rate was 8.8 percent in March, little changed from February but 0.9 percentage point [sic] lower than a year earlier.

Colorado's unemployment rate has now been above the national employment rate for three months. Prior to January 2011, the unemployment rate in Colorado had been below the national rate for several years.

The graph shows a comparison between the two rates since 2006:

The unemployment rate in Colorado fell slightly during March 2011 from February, according to the seasonally-adjusted numbers, but the national rate fell also.

Compared to the unemployment rates in other states, Colorado falls in the middle with numerous other states that also reported unemployment rates between 8.0 and 9.9 percent.

The BLS map below shows state by state comparisons.

Within the Rocky Mountain region, Colorado has the third highest unemployment rate:
Arizona, 9.5%
Colorado, 9.2%
Idaho, 9.7%
Montana, 7.4%
New Mexico, 8.1%
Utah, 7.6%
Wyoming, 6.2%

With Colorado's unemployment rate moving above the national rate, household formation in Colorado could be affected as workers and heads of household look outside the state for employment, and as fewer workers outside the state look to Colorado as a favorable job market. This would in turn affect the demand for real estate.

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