Saturday, June 4, 2011

State of Working Colorado: Without a job and looking

Unemployment is a measure of joblessness. It counts the number of people who do not have jobs and are actively looking for work. Colorado ends its decade with dramatically higher unemployment than it began with. In December 2010, Colorado’s unemployment rate was 8.9 percent (Figure 11), the highest rate since the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics began tracking state unemployment rates in 1976. That elevated level of unemployment has persisted more than a year after the official end of the 2007 recession in June 2009, and is likely to be a fixture of the state economy for some time to come. Colorado’s unemployment rate is forecasted at 8.4 percent for 2011, and 8.2 percent for 2012.

Relative to other states, Colorado’s predicament is not unusual. At the end of 2010, the Colorado unemployment rate was 25th worst among states, and its increase in unemployment since the beginning of the downturn (December 2007) was 20th largest. Still, unemployment in Colorado has had dramatic effects on many areas of the state, from income and poverty to health care and food assistance.
For more insights, including detailed policy recommendations for enhancing economic security for all Coloradans, check out the State of Working Colorado 2010.

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