Garfield County unemployment on the rise | PostIndependent.com
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Garfield County unemployment on the rise

John Gardner
jgardner@postindependent.com
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” The new year has yet to show signs of loosening the economic recession’s grip on the nation, state and even Garfield County. According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Colorado was extremely late in entering the recession.

“Although we have weathered the myriad economic woes afflicting the nation better than most states, mounting evidence suggests that Colorado entered the recession in the last quarter of 2008,” said Colorado’s Labor Department Executive Director Donald J. Mares.

Mares noted that 2008 ended on a “down note” as December’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 6.1 percent, the highest it’s been since August 2003.



Thirty-seven of the state’s 64 counties, including Garfield County, posted higher unemployment rates in December.

Garfield County’s unemployment rate grew from 3.8 percent in November 2008 to 4.1 percent through December. Through 2008, the county’s unemployment rate jumped 1.4 percent up from 2.7 the previous December.



The total civilian labor force in Garfield County for December 2008 was 36,329, according to the labor department statistics, of which 1,481 were unemployed. The number of unemployed workers in Garfield County rose 132 from November and 485 from one year ago.

Construction remained Garfield County’s largest major industry in December accounting for 18 percent of the county’s employment, followed by retail trade and accommodation and food services with 13 and 10 percent, respectively.

Statewide the number of unemployed residents climbed 7,800 during the month to 167,600, an increase of 58,600 compared to the same time in 2007.

The labor department also saw an increase in first-time unemployment claims for insurance up more than 26,000 from the previous quarter and exceeding 61,000.

That total also surpassed the 56,000 claims filed following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

According to the monthly survey of Colorado businesses, wage and salary employment dropped, marking the first time since 1974 that the state failed to add jobs during December.

Nationally, the unemployment rate rose from 6.8 percent to 7.2 percent in December, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report stated that job losses were large and widespread across most industry sectors. Manufacturing employment was down 149,000 jobs, professional and business services saw a decrease of 113,000, construction lost 101,000, with 67,000 in retail in December.


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