By Peter Marcus, DENVER DAILY NEWS
As Colorado’s unemployment rate edged up two-tenths of a percentage point last month to 8.4 percent, a report released yesterday predicts that Colorado “is a long way from meaningful economic recovery.”
The Colorado Center on Law and Policy said yesterday that Colorado’s unemployment rate reached its highest level in nearly a quarter-century. The unemployment rate is the highest since the onset of the downturn, and represents the highest unemployment rate in 23 years.
The national unemployment rate remained unchanged for October at 9.6 percent, according to labor statistics.
With the loss of 142,800 jobs since December 2007, Colorado ranks 18th worst in the nation, according to the Colorado Center on Law and Policy report.
“Much stronger growth will be needed to improve the unemployment rate, and more importantly, to improve the lives of Coloradans,” states the report.
Labor officials, however, are optimistic, noting that there appears to be greater demand for employees.
“Despite mixed results in the employment numbers, there are encouraging signs of improvement including recent increases in online job postings,” said Donald J. Mares, executive director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. “Through our innovative partnerships and programs, the workforce system is focused on ensuring job seekers regain employment as quickly as possible.”
Last October, the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent in Colorado.
The number of working Coloradans fell 5,400 over the month to over 2.4 million, according to labor statistics. The civilian labor force decreased 2,200 to 2.7 million. The number of residents unsuccessfully looking for work increased 3,200 over the month to 222,600, according to labor statistics.
Total employment was 2.5 million and the number of unemployed was 200,400, a year ago. The civilian labor force has declined 4,400 since October 2009.