Colorado unemployment rate holds steady at 8 percent |

Colorado unemployment rate holds steady at 8 percent

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER – Even as temporary census workers lost their jobs, Colorado’s unemployment rate held steady at 8 percent in June.

As expected, the state lost temporary U.S. Census Bureau jobs and some local government jobs last month, but there was stronger hiring in the private sector, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment executive director Donald Mares said Tuesday.

Colorado’s jobless rate for June was slightly lower than the state’s 8.3 percent rate a year earlier.

Nationally, the unemployment rate for June was 9.5 percent.

In Colorado, estimates show the construction industry didn’t lose any jobs for the second straight month.

Trade association officials with the Associated General Contractors said projects funded by federal stimulus money have added construction jobs in many states.

Six other sectors that the state labor department tracks showed at least slight gains during the month, even when adjusted for seasonal differences. Those sectors were leisure and hospitality; educational and health services; trade, transportation and utilities; professional and business services; financial activities; and mining and logging.

The number of working Coloradans is shrinking, along with the size of Colorado’s labor force. There were about 2.4 million working Coloradans in June, down nearly 2 percent from June 2009. Adjusting for seasonal differences, the labor force was about 2.66 million strong, down from about 2.72 million in June 2009.

Economists have said the poor economy prompted some job seekers to give up and leave the hunt, but they will start to return as the job market improves.

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