Routt County's labor force increases in November

Unemployment rate goes up with number of residents with jobs

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— Routt County’s unemployment rate increased slightly from October to November despite there being more residents with jobs. That’s because the county’s total labor force also increased, according to figures released by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment this week.

The unemployment rate at the end of November was 7.9 percent, up from 7.7 percent in October. It’s still far better than it was in November 2010, when the unemployment rate here was 9.9 percent.

Routt County’s total labor force was 14,185 people in November, up from 14,013 in October. The number of employed residents was 13,062 last month, up from 12,941 in October, according to the state. One year ago, the county’s labor force was 13,801, of which 12,437 had jobs.

The figures from the Department of Labor and Employment are not adjusted for typical seasonal changes.

Even with a slowly growing workforce, Routt County still has far fewer workers than it did at its peak in January 2008, when the labor force climbed to 17,116. The unemployment rate was just 2.6 percent that month.

Moffat County’s unemployment rate was 7.6 percent last month, an increase from October’s rate of 7.2 percent. Unlike Routt County, Moffat County’s labor force decreased from October to November — from 8,795 workers to 8,668 workers. The number of those residents with jobs also decreased, from 8,164 in October to 8,008 last month. Moffat County’s unemployment rate was 8.6 percent in November 2010.

The unemployment rate remains high in other Colorado mountain resort communities. Eagle County’s unemployment rate was 8.9 percent last month. Its labor force remained relatively unchanged from October. Pitkin County’s November unemployment rate was 9.8 percent, with its total labor force and number of employed workers decreasing from October to November.

Summit County’s unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in November, a dramatic improvement from October’s 8.6 percent rate. Summit’s labor force increased by 1,200 workers from October to November, and the number of employed residents jumped by nearly 1,300.

Routt County's employment picture, November 2011

To reach Brent Boyer, call 970-871-4221 or email bboyer@SteamboatToday.com

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