Colo. unemployment in Sept. dips to 8.0%

October 21, 2012

Denver Post

Unemployment in Colorado fell to 8 percent in September, its lowest level since May, as the state added 7,000 jobs, the state said Friday.

The jobs number was the largest monthly total since January. It was aided by better-than-expected growth in private and public sector educational services, according to Alexandra Hall, chief economist for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment .

Colorado is now returning to a downward trend in the unemployment rate after reaching 8.3 percent in July. Yet unemployment in the state remained higher than the national rate of 7.8 percent.

The decrease in unemployment was caused by a larger increase in the number of people reporting their status as employed, or 7,100, than the increase in those actively participating in the labor force, which was 500, Hall said.


Economists said Friday that Colorado is experiencing slow but steady job growth, which by 2013 should result in the recovery of almost all the jobs lost during the recession.

Private-sector payroll jobs increased 4,400 and government increased 2,600 for a total of 2.3 million jobs.

“We are maintaining a slow, steady job-growth rate in Denver and Colorado, which is fine,” said economist Patricia Silverstein, president of Development Research Partners.

The steady pace will help erase the massive job loss felt during the recession, she said. In 2013, the Denver metro area should exceed the 1.42 million jobs it had at the peak prior to the recession.

In 2013, Colorado as a whole will have recovered 98.9 percent of the jobs lost in the recession with 2.32 million jobs, compared with the 2.35 million at the peak before the recession, she said.

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