Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Colorado Recovery Watch - May 2012

The most recent economic data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show mixed trends for the recovery. The month of May saw an increase in the state unemployment rate, which includes the self-employed and farm workers, as well as an increase in the state labor force. Interestingly, another survey reported data that excludes the self-employed and farm workers and showed a net increase in employment for the month of May. However, a robust jobs recovery has yet to solidify in Colorado or nationwide. Enrollment in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplementary Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, erased positive movement in February as enrollment increased by nearly 7,500 people in the month of March (the most recent data available).

In May, Colorado’s unemployment rate increased for the second consecutive month to 8.1 percent. (Figure 1) Although this 8.1 percent unemployment rate is still 0.3 percent lower than May of last year, it represents a 0.2 percent increase from April and a return to the October 2011 level. The national unemployment rate also saw a 0.1 percent increase to 8.2 percent during the month of May leaving the rate 0.8 percent lower than May 2011.

In the latest edition of Colorado Recovery Watch, Rice Fellow Andrew Ball examines a range of data showing where the state of Colorado stands on the road to economic recovery.

Colorado Recovery Watch is a monthly snapshot of economic data, with a special focus on jobs and public-assistance programs. Read it online, along with other analysis of jobs and economic security from the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, a project of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy.

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