Unemployment still rising in GJ

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While unemployment in Colorado’s other metropolitan areas remained stagnant or dropped a little in June, Grand Junction’s jobless numbers grew worse.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment in Grand Junction grew from 8.5 percent in May to 8.8 percent in June. That figure is more than double last June’s unemployment rate in Grand Junction: 3.9 percent. Grand Junction’s unemployment rate is the highest it has been in 15 years.

Grand Junction’s seasonally adjusted labor force, which combines the number of employed and unemployed people in the area, lost 500 people from May to June. The local labor force dropped by 600 people from April to May.

Unemployment and a tough economy are leading to an increase in apartment and home vacancies, said Mary Simpson, assistant to the property manager at Property Services.

She said tenants have asked for rent reductions, and some are moving from one rental property to the other to find cheaper rent.

“I wouldn’t call it drastic. We’ve entertained a very unrealistic rental market for awhile. We’re coming more in line with the real world,” Simpson said.

An employee at Grand Junction Property Management said there are plenty of people moving out once they’ve lost a job in Grand Junction. But there’s “an almost equal” amount of people moving in from out of state, the employee said.

Unemployment rates remained steady between May and June in Greeley (8.6 percent), Boulder (6.3 percent), and Colorado Springs (8.1 percent). In Fort Collins, unemployment decreased from 11.4 percent to 11.3 percent. Unemployment went from 6.4 percent to 6.3 percent in Pueblo, and tipped from 7.8 percent to 7.7 percent in Denver.

Colorado unemployment remained steady from May to June at 7.6 percent.


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