Jobless filings up in October

Unemployment at 8.3% in county

Unemployment increased from 8.1 percent in September to 8.3 percent in October in Mesa County, according to data released Tuesday by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Five hundred fifty-five Mesa County workers dropped off the employment tally in October compared to September, while the county experienced a net gain of 113 unemployed people month-over-month.

Colorado’s unemployment rate increased by a tenth of a percentage point month-over-month to 7.5 percent in October as the state similarly lost some employed residents and increased its unemployment total. Both the state and the county had unemployment rates two-tenths of a percentage point lower in October 2012 than they had in October 2011.

October’s unemployment rate has been the same or lower than September’s unemployment every year since 2008 until now, according to Suzie Miller, business services manager for the Mesa County Workforce Center.

Miller said she hasn’t seen any obvious explanation for this year’s increase in unemployment. It’s possible seasonal construction layoffs may have come early this year, she said, or numbers may be skewed by people with part-time jobs applying for partial unemployment benefits.

The number of people continuing their unemployment benefits increased from 1,002 in September to 1,032 in October in Mesa County, while first-time filings, many of them for people who can only get partial benefits due to underemployment, increased from 247 in September to 352 in October.

“That’s the highest number of filings we’ve had since January,” Miller said.

Still, she said Mesa County residents should take some solace in the unemployment rate reaching its lowest point for an October since pre-recession October 2008. The Workforce Center is still on track for its best year since 2007 for job orders. Each job order can include one or more job openings at a business. The Workforce Center listed 2,550 job orders so far in 2012 as of Monday, just ahead of the 2,519 job orders it listed between Jan. 1 and Nov. 19, 2008.

The Workforce Center listed 3,464 job orders between Jan. 1 and Nov. 19, 2007.


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