RBC I After three months of watching Rio Blanco County’s unemployment rate rise, January’s numbers showed a significant .40 percent drop.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment reported March 16 that Rio Blanco’s unemployment rate rose to 5.1 percent during December after increases in October and November as well.
January’s jobless rate fell to 4.7 percent. In January of 2015, the rate was at 6.1 percent, so there has been a drop of 1.4 percent from a year ago.
In January this year, there was an available workforce of 2,813 residents in the county; there were 2,681 residents who were employed and the number of those on unemployment was 132 residents.
In December 2015, there were 2,846 people in the available county workforce. Of those, 2,700 residents were working and 146 residents were on unemployment.
In January 2015, there were 2,767 residents in the available workforce in Rio Blanco County. There were 2,597 residents who were working and 170 on unemployment for the 6.1 percent.
In December, Rio Blanco County had the 10th highest unemployment rate of Colorado’s 64 counties. In January, Rio Blanco dropped into a tie for 12th highest rate.
From a high point of 5.2 percent in January 2015, the state of Colorado has dropped to 3.2 percent in January 2016, down 0.1 percent from December 2015.
In January of this year, Colorado had an available workforce of 2,832,766 with 2,742,275 counted in the workforce. There were 91,491 on the state unemployment rolls.
In December, the state had an available workforce of 2,829,174. There were 2,735,825 residents who were working and the number of unemployed was 93,349.
In January 2015, there were 2,813,268 residents in the available workforce statewide, and, of those, 2,678,217 were employed and the number of jobless on unemployment numbered 135,051.
While Rio Blanco County’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.7 percent in January, the numbers were considerably higher across the state, led by Huerfano County (county seat Walsenberg) with a significant unemployment rate of 7.4 percent, which is up from 7.1 percent in December and way down from January 2015, when its jobless rate there was a scorching 10.7 percent.
The next three counties with the highest unemployment rates were considerably lower than Huerfano County, but at least 5.5 percent or above. The second highest rate was 5.8 percent in Montezuma County (Cortez), followed by Mesa County (Grand Junction) at 5.7 percent and Costilla County (San Luis) at 5.5 percent.
There were six Colorado counties where the unemployment rate in January were lower than 2 percent.
The county with the lowest unemployment rate was the thriving ski-resort-heavy Summit County (Breckenridge) at 1.5 percent. Those counties with the next lowest rates were: Baca County (Springfield) at 1.6 percent; Cheyenne County (Cheyenne Wells) and Kiowa County (Eads) at 1.7 percent; San Miguel (Telluride) and Phillips (Holyoke) counties at 1.8 percent.