County unemployment rate down in August


Staff Writer

On Oct. 1, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment announced the state’s Unemployment Insurance Division was prepared to assist approximately 40,000 federal workers impacted by the government shutdown. While there are 54,000 federal workers in Colorado, not all of them were affected.

There is a mandatory one-week waiting period before an unemployment claim is activated and workers may not file their claim until their last day of work. Unlike most claimants, the federal workers are “job attached” which means they will not be required to conduct a job search during their furlough.

Last week, the Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado updated their 2013 Report.  The report provided a snapshot of county-level data including population, employment and income numbers, livable wages and other labor force statistics for Southwest Colorado.

According to this report, 13 percent of the jobs in Archuleta County are government jobs, which generate 19 percent of the county’s income.

However, most of these jobs are not with the federal government. In fact, the top two local employers are Archuleta School District 50 Joint and Archuleta County with 214 and 155 employees, respectively. The U.S. Forest Service only accounts for 36 local jobs, and was the tenth largest employer in the county behind such private enterprises as City Market (105) and Parelli (71).

According to another recent report from the CDLE, the August unemployment rate for Archuleta County was 6.9 percent, a slight drop from July’s 7.1 percent, but down significantly compared to 8.4 percent for 2012.

There were 6,633 people in the county’s labor force in August and of those only 459 claimed unemployment. The total workforce dropped 30 people over the month, but the number of unemployed people was also down by seven. Over the year, the total number of Archuleta County workers increased by 178, while the number of people who were unemployed decreased by 86.

Hinsdale County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3.1 percent, while Saguache had the highest at 12.4.