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Colorado labor officials discuss September employment numbers

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment held a conference call to discuss the employment situation in the state.

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) provided an update Tuesday on the state's current employment numbers in September based on a household survey.

According to the survey of households, Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 6.4 percent in September from 6.7 percent in August. During the same period, the national unemployment rate declined half of a percentage point to 7.9 percent.

Other highlights from the household survey: 

  • Colorado’s labor force grew by 59,600 in September to 3,147,400. The labor force participation rate rose by 1.2 percentage points to 67.9 percent, but is still below the February ratio of 69.4 percent.
  • The number of individuals employed in Colorado increased by 63,400 in September to 2,945,400, which represents 63.6 percent of the state’s 16+ population.
  • The Colorado counties with the highest unemployment rates in September were: Huerfano (8.3%), Summit (8.1%), Gilpin (7.9%), Pueblo (7.5%), and Denver (7.4%). County-level unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted and are directly comparable to Colorado’s September unadjusted rate of 6.2 percent.

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Last week, CDLE reported that 6,242 regular initial unemployment claims were filed the week ending Oct. 10. There were also 2,532 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims filed for the same week.

For the week ending Oct. 3, CLDE said a combined total of 232,553 continued claims were filed including 123,629 UI claims, 64,741 PUA claims and 44,183 Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) claims.

Since mid-March, when the coronavirus pandemic was declared, 575,599 regular UI claims have been filed. Including PUA, a total of 742,894 claims have been filed, according to CDLE.

CDLE also reported that it has paid out $367 million from the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program through the week ending Oct. 10.

Below are the top 10 industries with the highest initial claims for the week ending Sept. 26:

  •  Accommodation and Food Services: 418 (12.7% of claims for week)
  • Retail Trade: 394 (12.0%)    
  • Healthcare and Social Assistance: 392 (11.9%) 
  • Construction: 355 (10.8%)
  • Administrative and Support and
    Waste Management and Remediation Services: 339 (10.3%)
  • Professional and Technical Services: 217 (6.6%)
  • Manufacturing: 177 (5.4%)    
  • Transportation and Warehousing: 136 (4.1%)
  • Wholesale Trade: 135 (4.1%)
  • Other Services: 128 (3.9%)

RELATED: Colorado reports more than 6,000 weekly unemployment claims