Contact the Colorado Workforce Center for information about jobs and unemployment benefits. Call 970-879-3075, visit www.yourworkforcecenter.com or visit the center’s Steamboat Springs branch at 425 Anglers Drive. Unemployment information and resources also are available at www.colorado.gov/cdle.
Steamboat Springs Routt County’s unemployment rate showed a slight improvement in February, falling to 8.4 percent and indicating a marginal rebound from jobless levels that were on the rise in January.
Data released late last week by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment states that 1,293 people were out of work in Routt County last month, compared to 1,322 people in January.
January’s unemployment rate reached 8.6 percent, an increase from the county’s 7.9 percent jobless rate in December.
The national unemployment rate was 8.9 percent in February, compared to 9 percent in January.
Routt County’s February figures nearly mirror those of February 2010, when the county also had an 8.4 percent unemployment rate with 1,287 people out of work.
Routt County’s labor force is increasing, though, according to the state data.
In February, 14,143 people had jobs in Routt County, out of a labor force of 15,436. In January, 13,969 people had jobs here, out of a labor force of 15,291.
In February 2010, the county’s labor force was 15,235.
Figures released last week were not adjusted for typical seasonal changes.
The numbers reflect a statewide trend that shows an increase in number of jobs and an increase in available workers.
Colorado’s unemployment rate rose to 9.3 percent in February from 9.1 percent in January. However, the labor force increased by 7,100 workers, to 2,677,900, and total employment increased by 2,600 workers, according to a state news release.
“The increase in total employment was not enough to offset the increase in labor force participation, causing the number of unemployed to increase 4,500,” according to a Colorado Department of Labor and Employment news release.
The state saw its biggest job declines in the construction and financial services industries.
Brian Bradbury, employment specialist at the Steamboat Springs branch of the Colorado Workforce Center, said construction continues to be the local industry that appears to be driving the most people into his office.
“That’s probably the hardest area hit,” he said.
The Steamboat Workforce Center, in the Sundance at Fish Creek shopping center on Anglers Drive, offers job-seekers a hotline to state employment officials every Wednesday on a first-come, first-served basis.
To reach Mike Lawrence, call 970-871-4233 or email mlawrence@SteamboatToday.com