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Colorado unemployment rate rose slightly to 10.5% in June, with highest rates in mountain counties

State has added back about 37% of jobs lost between February and April
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Posted at 8:50 AM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 10:50:21-04

DENVER – Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 10.5% in June – an increase of three-tenths of a percentage point from May’s rate of 10.2%.

According to the June household and business surveys, Colorado added 55,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in June, and the number of people employed in Colorado increased by 80,100. April’s unemployment rate was 12.2% in Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment says 61.4% of Coloradans aged 16+ are employed – up from April’s 58.3% but still far below the February level of 67.7%.

While Colorado’s unemployment rate jumped back up, the national rate fell 2.2% to 11.1%.

The CDLE said that Colorado has gained back just over one-third – 126,000 of 342,300 – of the nonfarm payroll jobs lost between February and April when the state moved to the stay-at-home order because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leisure and hospitality was the industry with by far the greatest number of job gains, with about 40,600 jobs coming back. The CDLE said the only private industry sector that has seen significant job loss over the past month was the financial activities sector, which lost around 2,000 jobs.

The CDLE said the state’s labor force participation rate rose by 2.1% to 68.7%, which is below February’s rate of 69.4%.

Colorado’s June unadjusted unemployment rate was 10.7%. Those rates are still markedly higher in Gilpin (10.7%), San Miguel (17.1%), Summit (16.6%), Pitkin (16%) and Eagle (15.7%) counties, some of which have a greater share of seasonal employees.

Denver’s unemployment rate was 11.9%, compared to 11.6% in Adams County, 11.5% in Arapahoe County, 9.5% in Boulder County 8.7% in Douglas County, 10.4% in Jefferson County, 9.2% in Larimer County and 10.1% in Weld County.

Over the past year, Colorado nonfarm payroll jobs have decreased by 183,000 – almost half of them in the leisure and hospitality sector. Colorado’s year-over-year rate of job loss is -6.6%, compared to the national rate of -8.6%.

Colorado’s unemployment rate is the highest in the region, with Arizona’s the closest behind at 10%. California (14.9%), Nevada (15%) and Oregon are the only Western states aside from Alaska and Hawaii with June rates higher than Colorado’s, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Colorado saw its highest number of regular initial unemployment claims last week since the first week of June – jumping back over 10,000 again last week, the CDLE said on Thursday.