looking at short and long-term changes in unemployment rates

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) puts together unemployment rates for each of the state’s 19 workforce regions. Although not a commonly used geographic/political entity, these regions do capture important economic and political relationships between counties. In this post I look at how unemployment rates in these various regions have changed since 1) the start of the Great Recession, and 2) over the past 12 months.

First, let’s look at how they have done over the past 5 years. In the chart below I show the percent change in unemployment over the past 5 years (Aprios 2007-2012).

Unemployment rates are up at least 3 percentage points in all workforce regions, showing now region was spared. Mesa, Pueblo and Western all saw increases of at least 6 percentage points.

Looking at the past 12 months shows the recovery has been a mixed bag.

In 4 regions the unemployment rate is higher than it was 12 months ago, and it was unchanged in 4 other regions. The other 11 regions have seen declines ranging from 0.1-0.9 percentage points. Basically, this data reinforces the notion of a slow and unimpressive job market recovery in Colorado.

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