RBC I The unemployment picture improved from April to May in Rio Blanco County, rising from the No. 2 highest county jobless rate in the state to being tied for the No. 4 highest, seeing an increase of 93 employees who are working and a decrease of 10 persons who are unemployed.
Colorado has 64 counties and Rio Blanco County had fallen to No. 63 in April, but the beginning of the tourism season in the county dropped the unemployment rate of 6.3 percent in April to 5.7 in May, tying Mesa County (Grand Junction) for 61st in the state.
In May 2015, Rio Blanco County’s unemployment rate was 5.1 percent and was tied as the No. 15-highest in the state.
In May, there were 2,784 in the available county workforce, and 2,624 residents were working with 160 listed on unemployment. In April of this year, there were 2,701 residents in the available workforce but only 2,531 were employed. In May of 2015, there were 2,848 in the available workforce while 2,704 were holding jobs and there were 144 on the jobless list.
That equates to a loss of 64 people in the available workforce and an increase of 16 people who are unemployed in May 2016 compared to a year ago.
Overall, Colorado continues to do well. While the jobless rate in the state rose from 3.5 percent in April to 3.6 percent in May, Colorado continues to be one of the states in the county with the lowest unemployment rate. The national unemployment rate fell from 5 percent in April to 4.7 percent in May.
In May of this year, Colorado had 2,888,463 in the state’s available workforce along with 2,785,606 who were employed and 102,857 who were on unemployment. In April, the state had 9,000 fewer people in the available workforce of 2,777,558 while 101,892 where on unemployment. In May of 2015, there were 2,824,897 in the available workforce, there were 2,712,880 and 112,017 who were jobless for an unemployment rate of 4.0 percent.
Rio Blanco County was tied with Mesa County for 61st in the state and the three counties with higher unemployment rates in Colorado (and their county seats) were: San Miguel (Telluride) with 7.9 percent; Pitkin County (Aspen) with 6.8 percent; and Huerfano County (Walsenberg) with 6.0 percent.
There were six counties with the lowest percentages of unemployment in May: Baca County (Springfield) was lowest and the only county under 2 percent with a 1.9 percent jobless rate. At 2 percent was Sedgwick County (Julesburg); at 2.1 percent were Phillips (Holyoke) and Kit Carson (Burlington) counties; and at 2.2 percent were Hinsdale (Lake City) and Kiowa (Eads) counties.