Colorado’s unemployment rate flat in April even with 8,900 jobs added

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DENVER, Colo. (KDVR) — The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment released its monthly unemployment data on Friday.

According to CDLE, data shows that Colorado’s unemployment rate was flat in April at 6.4%. During the same period, the national unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point to 6.1%.

CDLE points out that the Colorado’s labor force did grow by 8,900 in April to 3,197,300.

The share of Coloradans participating in the labor force is at 68.7% for April, which matches the pre-pandemic February 2020 labor force participation rate.

The number of people employed in Colorado increased by 9,600 in April to 2,992,700, which represents 64.3% of the state’s 16 and older population.

While Colorado’s employment to population ratio continues to improve since April 2020, when it was at 57.0%, it is still well below the pre-pandemic level of 66.8%.

Over the past 12 months, Colorado has gained back jobs and employees, but according to the report from CDLE, an estimated 4,132 regular initial unemployment claims were filed for the week ending May 15. There were also 712 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims filed for the same week.

Governor Jared Polis issued an Executive Order creating the Colorado Jumpstart program to help employees return to work.

The Colorado Jumpstart is a work incentive program administered by CDLE, designed to help make the transition back to work for unemployed Coloradans.

Those who are eligible and return to work in the month of May will receive an incentive payment of $1,600. Those who return to work in June will receive $1,200.

The priority of the program is get Colorado back in the workforce.

During the pandemic, the state did see a worker shortage, but as the state is moving out of the pandemic, certain sectors are going to have a hard time finding and filling positions.

Colorado counties with the highest unemployment rates in April are primarily in the southern parts of our state which include:

  • San Miguel (10%)
  • Huerfano (8.6%)
  • Pueblo (8.6%)
  • Gilpin (7.6%)
  • Costilla (7.2%)
  • Fremont (7.2%)

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