County jobless rate falls 1 percent

RBC I As the summer progresses, the unemployment rate in Rio Blanco County continues to lower with the outlook improving. In May, Rio Blanco had the second-highest unemployment rate in Colorado’s 64 counties while in June that figure improved to the No. 61 county in the state and in July it rose to the No. 54 spot in the state.

In May, the Rio Blanco County jobless rate was 6.4 percent; it was 6.2 percent in June; in July that number dropped by a full percentage point to 5.2 percent, just 0.1 percent above the 5.1 percent enjoyed in July 2015.
In July this year, there were 2,821 county residents in the available workforce and 2,673 who were employed, leaving 148 persons on the jobless rolls. In June, there were 2,874 in the available workforce, there were 2,696 residents with jobs and 178 on unemployment. In July 2015, there were 2,901 in the available workforce, there were 2,753 who were working and there were 148 who were jobless.
Those figures indicate that residents have moved out of Rio Blanco County and that between the two Julys, there was a loss of 80 residents who were considered in the available workforce.
Statewide, the jobless rate continues to drop as well.
In July, the state unemployment rate was 3.6 percent, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Those figures compare with 4.0 percent in June this year and with 3.9 percent in July 2015.
In the state, there were 2,914,381 persons in the available workforce for July and there were 2,809,582 who were working. That leaves 104,799 who were jobless for the statewide rate of 3.6 percent. In June, there were 2,916,543 available to work, 2,798,762 who were at work and there were 117,781 who were jobless, making for a jobless rate of 4 percent. In July 2015, the available workforce was 2,849,681, those with jobs numbered 2,739,335 and the jobless numbered 110,346 for an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent.
The four Colorado counties with the highest unemployment rates for July were: Huerfano (Walsenberg) at 7.0 percent; Las Animas (Trinidad) at 6.1 percent; and a tie between Mesa (Grand Junction) and Saguache (Saguache), tied at 6.0 percent.
The four Colorado counties with the lowest unemployment rate for July were: Mineral (Creede) at 1.7 percent; Baca (Springsfield) and Hinsdale (Lake City) tied at 1.9 percent; and Kit Carson (Burlingon) at 2.0 percent.