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Colorado jobless rate at its highest since Sept. ’05

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June hit 5.1 percent, the highest rate since September 2005, state labor officials said Friday.

Colorado hasn’t been adding enough jobs to accommodate its growing labor force, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment executive director Donald Mares said.

The unemployment rate of 5.1 percent was up from 4.9 percent in May and up from 3.7 percent in June 2007, the department said.



The national unemployment rate in June held steady at 5.5 percent.

An estimated 2.6 million Coloradans have jobs, which is up about 39,100 from a year ago, but job growth for the past 12 months has slowed to about 1.3 percent, the labor department said.




Earlier this month the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business forecast 1.5 percent job growth in Colorado for all of 2008. Private economist Tucker Hart Adams has predicted 0.8 percent job growth.

Unemployment typically rises in June as student workers enter the job market, but job growth in Colorado also has slowed along with the national economy and weakness in construction, financial services, and manufacturing.

Most jobs added during the month were in leisure and hospitality as tourism season geared up, the labor department said, with the sector adding about 16,300 jobs.

The government has accounted for the most job gains in the last year, adding about 10,200 jobs.


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