County jobless rate up slightly

RBC I For the second month in a row, the unemployment rate in Rio Blanco County has gone up, and the increase from 4.5 percent of the available workforce to 4.9 percent of that workforce is the largest increase in the county’s jobless rate in two years.

The county’s jobless rate of 4.9 percent for November is up from 4.5 percent in October, according to the non-seasonally adjusted labor force figures from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The 4.9 percent figure is the highest the Rio Blanco County unemployment figures have gone since November of 2014, when the figure was also 4.9 percent.
According to the statistics, October 2015 saw 2,845 in the available Rio Blanco County workforce, there were 2,717 of those who were employed, and there were 128 persons unemployed, for a 4.5 percent jobless rate.
In November this year, there were 2,811 in the county’s available workforce, 2,673 who were working and 138 who were jobless for the 4.9 percent.
A year ago in November, there were 2,847 in the available workforce, 2,707 were employed and 140 were jobless for an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent.
The state unemployment rate, which had seen a sharp decline over the past two years, also rose in November, from its low of 3.3 percent in October 2015, to 3.5 in November.
Colorado’s multi-year low, which was 3.3 percent in October, featured an entire available state workforce of 2,813,930 people with 2,720,998 working and 92,932 on the jobless list.
In November 2015, there were 2,804,595 in the available work force, there were 2,707,786 working and 96,809 who were jobless for a rate of 3.5 percent, an increase of .2 percent over October.
In November 2014, there were 2,821,599 in the available workforce, there were 2,704,738 folks who were working and 116,861 unemployed, for a rate of 4.1 percent.
Of Colorado’s 64 counties, 43 saw increases in their jobless rates, 11 were unchanged and 10 saw decreases in their rates.
The largest rate increase was in San Miguel County (Telluride), from 3.0 in October to 6.3 percent in November, with the jobless numbering 140 in October and rising to 293 in November. The San Juan County (Silverton) jobless rate rose from 2.8 percent in October, when there were only 14 who were unemployed, to 5.3 percent in November, with 21 on the jobless rolls.
There were 15 counties with unemployment rates higher than Rio Blanco County, three others the same as Rio Blanco with 4.9 percent and 46 counties with lower jobless rates.
The counties with the lowest jobless rates (and the county seat) were: Baca (Springfield) with 1.8 percent; Kiowa (Eads) with 1.9 percent; Hinsdale (Lake City) with 2.0 percent; and Phillips County (Holyoke)with 2.1 percent.
The counties with the highest jobless rates (county seat) were: Huerfano (Walsenburg) with 7.1 percent; San Miguel (Telluride) with 6.5 percent; Pitkin (Aspen) with 5.6 percent; and two counties tied with 5.5 percent—Costilla (San Luis) and Fremont (Canon City).