RBC I After more than a year of falling unemployment rates, Rio Blanco County’s jobless rate jumped for the third straight month, rising to 5.1 percent in December.
Rio Blanco County saw a 4.9 percent unemployment rate in November of 2015 and a 5.0 percent jobless rate in December of 2014, but rose to 5.1 percent in December 2015 with a stable workforce in November and December and a one-person decrease in the available workforce between the two months.
In December, there were 2,806 persons in the available Rio Blanco County workforce, there were 2,663 who were working and the number of unemployed was 143.
In November, there were 2,807 persons in the available workforce with 2,670 persons employed and 137 without jobs for the 4.9 percent jobless rate.
In December of 2014, there were 2,740 in the available workforce, 2,602 persons were listed on the work rolls and there were 138 unemployed for a 5.0 jobless rate.
Overall in Colorado, the state jobless rate fell to a long-time low of 3.3 percent compared to 3.4 percent in November and 4.1 percent in December of 2014.
In the state, the available workforce was 2,808,816 persons strong in December, up from the 2,804,435-strong workforce in November and down from the December 2014 available workforce of 2,815,114.
In December, there were 93,166 on unemployment compared to 96,557 in November and 115,864 in December 2014.
In December, Rio Blanco County was ranked 10th highest in the state for unemployment out of Colorado’s 64 counties.
In contrast, the county with the highest jobless rate was Huerfano County (Walsenberg is county seat) with a rate of 7.4 percent, followed by Costilla County (San Luis) at 5. 8 percent and a tie between Montezuma (Cortez) and Rio Grande (Del Norte) counties at 5.5 percent. In December 2014, Huerfano led the state again but with an 8.4 percent jobless rate.
The bragging rights for the lowest jobless rate in the state during December goes to a tied between Baca (Springfield) County with 31 persons on unemployment and Summit (Breckenridge) with 376 persons unemployed, at 1.6 percent, followed closely by Kiowa County (Eads) with 14 persons jobless at 1.7 percent. In December 2014, the county with the lowest unemployment rate was Cheyenne County (Cheyenne Wells) at 2.0 percent.
Overall, the state of Colorado had 2,715,650 workers employed in December, 2,707,878 workers employed in November and 2,699,250 workers in December 2014.