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Huerfano unemployment picture looking a little better but contrasts with U.S. numbers

by William T. Beverly, Ph.D.
HUERFANO- Huerfano County’s unemployment rate decreased to 13% in February 2011. This last month’s numbers included a total workforce of 3,377 persons, with 2,939 employed, 438 unemployed, yielding an unemployment rate of 13%. This is down from 13.7% in January of 2011, but is still considerably higher than the 12.2% rate of February 2010.
This leaves Huerfano County still too close to the top of the list of Colorado Unemployment by County, tied with Montrose, yet behind the counties of Saguache (13.9%), Costilla (15.9%), Delores (19%), and San Juan (19.9%).
According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment,… “Over the year, the unemployment rate for Colorado is up three-tenths of one percentage point from 9.0 percent in February 2010.” The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force declined 25,800 to 2,677,900, total employment declined 30,600 to 2,430,100, and the number of unemployed increased 4,800 to 247,800.
Employers in Colorado added 3,000 nonfarm payroll jobs from January to February for a total of 2,228,300 jobs, according to the survey of establishments, with private sector payroll jobs increasing by 2,900. Over the year, the average work week for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from 33.6 to 33.9 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $23.69 to $24.15.
In contrast, the national unemployment rate declined from 9.7 to 8.9 percent from February 2010 to 2011. “The unemployment rate, labor force, labor force participation, total employment and the number of unemployed are based on a survey of households. The total employment estimate derived from this survey is intended to measure the number of people employed.”

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