RBC I After more than six months in a row in which the Rio Blanco County unemployment rate fell by one-tenth (.1) of a percent, that good news was magnified several times by the county unemployment rate for August.
Since early this year, the county’s jobless rate had steadily been dropping but by a consistent .1 percent monthly to reach one of the state’s lowest unemployment rates of just 4.2 for July. In August, the county’s jobless rate fell by .7 percent to just 3.5 percent. That puts Rio Blanco County as No. 16 lowest among Colorado’s 64 counties.
According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, there were 4,532 in the county’s available workforce for August, and there were 4,374 working and only 158 persons on unemployment in the county. In July, that number was 4,264 persons in the available workforce, there were 4,085 who were employed and there were 178 residents on unemployment.
Those figures are greatly improved over August 2013, when there were 4,505 in the available workforce, there were, 4,299 who were employed and there were 206 on unemployment, for a rate of 4.5 percent, a full percentage point higher than in August this year.
Throughout Colorado, the state unemployment rate has also taken a large dive in the past year.
In August 2013, state unemployment rate, while still well below the national average, was 6.5 percent, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. In August this year, the Colorado jobless rate had fallen an impressive 1.7 percent to 4.8 percent and an impressive .5 percent since July of this year.
This year in August, there were 2,819,828 in the workforce and there were 2,684,091 residents who were employed. There were 135,737 who were unemployed for the rate of 4.8 percent. In July this year, there were 2,843,236 in the available workforce, 2,691,158 who were employed and 152,078 unemployed for a jobless rate of 5.3 percent. A year ago, there were 2,771,811 in the available workforce, 2,590,270 residents with jobs, and the number of jobless was 181,541 for an unemployment rate of 6.5 statewide.
The Colorado counties with the lowest unemployment rates (and their county seats) are: 1. (tie) Baca (Springfield) and Cheyenne (Cheyenne Wells) with 2.1 percent unemployment rates; 3. (tie) Hinsdale (Lake City) and Yuma (Wray) with 2.3 unemployment rates; and 5. (tie) Jackson (Walden) and Kiowa (Eads) counties with 2.4 percent unemployment rates.
The five Colorado counties with the highest unemployment rates (and their county seats) are: 1. Costilla (San Luis) with an 8.6 unemployment rate; 2. Saguache (Saguache) with an 8.6 jobless rate; 3. Huerfano (Walsenberg) with a 7. 2 jobless rate; and 4. (tie) Pueblo (Pueblo) and Conejos (Conejos) counties with 6.9 percent unemployment rates.