Garfield County unemployment numbers dropped in July |

Garfield County unemployment numbers dropped in July

The unemployment rate in Garfield County reportedly remained above 10 percent in the first quarter of 2011, the highest level in more than two decades, according to the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.

But by July, the local unemployment rate had dropped somewhat, to just over 8 percent, according to state labor figures.

Two neighboring counties, Eagle and Rio Blanco, reported similar improvements in employment numbers, while Pitkin County’s employment situation worsened.

Garfield County had more than 3,500 people unemployed as of March, for a rate of 10.7 percent, according to figures from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, as cited in the chamber’s Summer 2011 Trends publication.

The county had a total workforce of 33,012 in March, of which a total of 29,466 were employed, the department reported.

The Garfield County unemployment numbers for that month came in higher than for Colorado, at 9.2 percent, and the nation as a whole, which stood at 8.8 percent in March, according to the statistics.

By comparison, in March, Pitkin County had an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent, in its workforce of 11,947; Eagle County’s unemployment rate came in at 8.5 percent for a workforce of 31,499, and Rio Blanco County had 7.4 percent of its workforce, 3,957, out of work.

By July, according to the state’s figures, statewide unemployment rates had dropped to 8.5 percent, while nationwide the unemployment rate had eased to 9.1 percent.

Locally, Garfield County’s unemployment had dropped to 8.2 percent in July, with 32,300 working out of a total of 35,169, leaving 2,451 out of work.

By comparison, unemployment rates in Pitkin County rose to 6.7 percent, while Eagle County’s rate dropped to 8.0 percent, and Rio Blanco’s rate dropped to 5.5 percent.

Further information about employment statistics is available at the labor department’s website,

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