Mesa County unemployment rate declines for second straight month

For the second month in a row, Mesa County’s jobless rate in April took a much-needed downward dip. The seasonally adjusted rate for the month came in at 10 percent, an improvement over March’s 10.7 percent unemployment rate.

The numbers of jobless claims also are inching down compared with April 2010, when the county’s unemployment rate was listed at 10.8 percent. According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment,

Mesa County’s unemployment is still higher than the state’s average. Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in April is listed at 8.8 percent. That’s also better than numbers collected for March when the state’s jobless rate sat at 9.2 percent.

Currently there are about 200 job orders or 400 job listings posted at the Mesa County Workforce Center, according to supervisor Gilbert Lujan.

The number of job orders has remained constant in the past several months, he said.

But dipping unemployment numbers, while encouraging, may not tell the whole story, Lujan said. Overall, the numbers of people in the labor force are decreasing. Seasonally adjusted numbers for Colorado show about 10,100 fewer workers statewide between last April and April 2011.

“We’re not really sure what’s going on. It could be people are leaving the work force and going back to school or more discouraged workers are no longer looking for work and are content with what they’re getting from unemployment,” Lujan said. “Yes, more people did find jobs, but it’s a mixed bag.”


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