Garfield County’s unemployment rate decreases by 0.1% from February to March | PostIndependent.com
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Garfield County’s unemployment rate decreases by 0.1% from February to March

 

Garfield County’s number of unemployed decreased by 80 people from February to 1,952 unemployed people in March, according to the latest report from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

However, Garfield County’s labor force dropped by 566 workers from February to March, the report states.

Monicque Aragon, an economist with the Colorado Department of Labor and Unemployment, said the drop in labor force at this time of year is not atypical for Garfield County.



Aragon also noted that the county data in the report is not seasonally adjusted, so the labor force estimates can be somewhat volatile from month to month.

“Additionally, an over the month decrease in the labor force from February to March is not atypical for Garfield County, as the ski season winds down during this time,” Aragon said.



“Due to this seasonality it is better to compare estimates over the year. Compared to March 2020, the labor force in Garfield County has increased by 290, or by about 1%.”

The report, which was released on April 16, did note a 0.1% drop in Garfield County’s unemployment rate.

Garfield County’s unemployment rate for March is 6%, while the February unemployment rate sat at 6.1%. The unemployment rate for March of 2020 in Garfield County was also 6%, though that rate increased dramatically in April of 2020 to 13.7%.

Ryan Gedney, senior economist with the Colorado Department of Labor and Unemployment, said the recent industry data at a county level cannot be drilled down at this time.

Gedney said the Bureau of Labor Statistics quarterly census of employment and wages data is lagged by several months, with September 2020 being the most recent data available.

“First quarter 2021 data won’t be publicly available until late August,” Gedney said in an email.

The latest report states that Colorado is seeing a job recovery rate of 61.1%, which slightly lags the U.S. rate of 62.4%.

“Since May, Colorado has gained back 229,600 of the 375,800 nonfarm payroll jobs lost between February and April of last year,” the report states.

While Garfield County’s labor force declined, the state’s labor force grew by 5,800 in March to 3.188 million.

“While Colorado’s employment-to-population ratio continues to improve since April 2020, when it was 57.0 percent, it is still well below the pre-pandemic level of 66.8 percent,” the report states.

The report states that significant job losses occurred in leisure and hospitality, with 1,100 job losses over the month of March.

Since March 2020, 61,900 job losses in leisure and hospitality in Colorado have been recorded.

Education and health services job losses were recorded at 10,300 since last year.

During that same period, trade, transportation, and utilities added 4,900 jobs, the report states.

“Colorado’s rate of job loss over the past year is -4.8%, compared to the U.S. rate of -4.5%,” the report states.

March 2021

Labor Force 32,688

Employment 30,736

Unemployment 1,952

Unemployment Rate 6.0%

February 2021

Labor Force 33,254

Employment 31,222

Unemployment 2,032

Unemployment Rate 6.1%

Reporter Shannon Marvel can be reached at 605-350-8355 or smarvel@postindependent.com.


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