Colorado tied for the nation’s 4th highest unemployment rate in September

November 27, 2021

Montana Economy

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A lot changed in the Colorado job market in September. Pandemic unemployment ended, cutting benefits to 107,000 unemployed. Some of the first vaccination warrants have entered into force. And Colorado has gone from the state with the highest layoff and termination rate in the country to the 18th highest.

September’s drop was dramatic and led Colorado to lead the nation in some of the biggest changes in the new job openings and turnover survey, which tracks the number of people hired, fired or resigned in a given month.

Colorado recorded the nation’s largest drop in layoffs and involuntary layoffs (down 42,000 jobs), the fourth highest dropout rate (tied with Alaska), and the third highest drop of job openings, according to an analysis by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Help Wanted Signs in Business Storefronts in Crested Butte, Colorado on Saturday, August 14, 2021 (Dean Krakel, Colorado Sun Special)

Colorado has been everywhere compared to other states. Here are some key metrics and Colorado’s ranking in September compared to August:

  • 18th for layoffs and layoffs in September vs. 1st in August
  • 4th for people leaving their jobs vs August 9
  • 41st job postings vs August 14
  • 26 for hiring rate vs August 17

Another glimpse of how Colorado landed is in the table below. You can compare job postings, hirings, layoffs, and quit rates by tapping the buttons below and selecting different months from the drop-down date box.

If any sort of economic impact can be drawn from all of this, it’s that 20 months after the start of the pandemic, the job market is still very volatile, 20 reminded us Ryan Gedney, senior economist in the department. State of Labor and Employment.

“When there are rankings where in a month it’s the first and the next is the 50th, it’s hard to take too much,” said Gedney. “I would say there is more underlying volatility in trends than (other) surveys.”

Many people still quit their jobs

Some of the numbers follow other trends in the state. The number of unemployed people has been declining for several months, so they have probably found work. The decrease in layoffs has led to a drop in the unemployment rate.

But the decline in the number of jobs or hires seems puzzling, especially since Colorado recorded even higher quit rates in September than in August, said Chris Brown, vice president of policy and research at the Common Sense Institute, an economic and policy research think tank in Greenwood Village.

“It could just be an inconsistency in reporting, or since new business creation is on the rise, these new businesses are not yet factored into the JOLTS survey,” Brown said. “It makes sense that the jobs survey and this JOLTS survey aren’t 100% aligned, but they don’t seem to point in the same overall direction. “

Gedney said it’s best to look at trends nationwide. Hawaii, Montana, and Nevada had higher dropout rates than Colorado. All are counting on tourism, which has intensified all summer to hire workers. Workers have options.

“What is the most important industry in Hawaii? Leisure and hospitality, ”he said. “So, yeah, that does make sense, especially when you see nationally that states with roughly the highest concentration of recreation and hospitality are leading the way in terms of dropout rates.”

In 2018, Colorado ranked sixth among the countries in terms of concentration of recreation and hospitality jobs in the country.

Gedney cautioned against interpreting the data to mean big changes. JOLTS data is based on a smaller survey sample than most economic reports. Changes from month to month should be taken with caution. But it had not been broken down to state level before and that alone provides benefits when measuring economic indicators, he said.

“At least now we have an official metric that can look at this on a monthly basis,” he said. “The number of openings and abandonment rates are valuable because you can calculate the labor constraint. In terms of a higher quit rate, we believe the labor market is tighter due to the openings / unemployed ratio. These are all signs of an economy recovering.

→ Americans always give up – In the United States, this is another record month of people leaving their jobs, with 4.4 million people quitting in September, a rate of 3%, up from 2.9% in August. The economic research firm EMSI Burning Glass calls it “the employee economy” because the unemployment rate is at its lowest for two years with 74 unemployed available for 100 job vacancies. >> The EMSI video report

→ Who stopped? One in five healthcare workers is exhausted and quits their job. >> Atlantic

→ ICYMI: Colorado’s high quit rates, layoffs and layoffs explained. >> READ

Unemployment, as if it were in 1969

The US Department of Labor said Wednesday that the first nationwide jobless claims had fallen to their lowest level in 52 years. Specifically, there were 199,000 initial requests for the week ending November 20, down 71,000 from the previous week and the lowest since November 15, 1969, when initial requests were 197,000 for the week.

Falling below 200,000 also means the United States is back to pre-pandemic unemployment levels.

Now, what caused this decline has not been explained by the Ministry of Labor. Some economists have estimated that the data will change once the seasonal revisions are completed. Others said they would only guess what happened. And some point to an obvious reason: fewer people are unemployed.

It’s not quite the same in Colorado. Preliminary data shows that while initial jobless claims for the week ending November 20 fell to 2,118 claims, they are still above the 2019 weekly average of 1,900.

It’s small business saturday

I vaguely remember when I was a full-time tech journalist when Cyber ​​Monday started. This was probably brought to my attention in a press release from the National Retail Federation, which is credited with launching the new day in 2005 to promote e-commerce. And yes, it was another shopping day invented to get consumers to spend money. I don’t even know when it officially begins or ends because nowadays it seems to occupy the whole month of November.

But the more attentive Small Business Saturday appears to be a more worth promoting day, as most American businesses are small businesses. While I was disappointed to be reminded (after a quick research) that this holiday was also invented for marketing purposes (in 2010 by American Express), the spirit of the day is to support local and small businesses. on this Saturday after Thanksgiving. So, a few thanks and suggestions based on small business sources I interviewed in the past:

  • The Latino Chamber of Commerce in Boulder County organized Latino Passport as a way to highlight local members owned or operated by the Latinx community. While the program is terminated, the list of traders is still running. >> Latino Passport
  • Hope Slinger’s Guide to Denver is a directory of Denver businesses owned by women, people of color, LGBTQ and other giving businesses. It’s a project created by Erika Righter, owner of the eclectic Hope Tank gift shop in Denver’s Baker neighborhood. >> Hope Slinger
  • Colorado Springs downtown location for visitors to shop at its local retailers, when you spend $ 100, $ 70 stays in the community. Also check out other SBS specials in Boulder, Golden, Old Colorado City, Lafayette, Manitou Springs, Glenwood Springs, Denver (via Westword), Brighton, Longmont, to name a few.

The colorados are aging

By 2050, Colorado residents aged 65 and over will double in population to 1.6 million and will exceed the number of children under the age of 16 by 30%, according to the state’s demography office. . Currently, there are 26% more children under 16 than adults 65 and over.

Here is our past, present and forecast of our age:

We are aging, as are the state workforce. This is why a number of organizations stress the need for age-friendly workplaces and state policies to prevent information that could lead to age discrimination from being requested on job applications.

Some of the efforts were halted during the pandemic, but many have returned and you will be able to see proposed legislation in the next session, said Janine Vanderburg, director of Changing the Narrative, an organization fighting ageism in the workplace. .

“There is a coalition of partners, of which Changing the Story is a part, who are working on legislation to remove age identifiers, like high school graduation dates, from job applications,” she declared.

If you missed the most important story about older workers in Colorado, you can read it here: “Looking for a job in Colorado when you’re over 50”

If you’re in the workforce, iAging’s Karen Brown offered some additional suggestions:

  • WAHVE – A recruitment agency putting “period professionals” in touch with companies that are looking for qualified workers and that offer advantages such as remote work. >> wahve.com
  • Distinguished Legal Advisor Program – Recruitment firm Gibson Arnold & Associates hires experienced lawyers who are nearing retirement and need short-term legal work. The fees tend to be much lower than hiring an in-house lawyer. >> DETAILS
  • NOWCC – The National Older Worker Career Center connects professionals aged 55 and over with part-time and full-time jobs across the country. >> DETAILS
  • CAFE approved – More and more companies are certified by the Age Friendly Institute for workplace policies that offer flexibility and welcome older workers. >> See the list

Thanks for reading and see you next week. ~Tamara


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