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5 takeaways from the latest unemployment data from CDLE

Colorado's unemployment rate has improved since April 2020, but there is still work to do to get it to pre-pandemic levels.

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has released its monthly look at the unemployment situation in the state since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

April’s data show that Colorado’s unemployment rate in April was flat, at 6.4%. That was more than the national average of 6.1%, which increased month over month.

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Keep reading for five takeaways from this week’s report:

One data point about Colorado’s labor force is back to pre-pandemic levels 

CDLE said the share of Coloradans participating in the labor force was 68.7% in April, which matches the number from February 2020 – before the pandemic. 

Colorado’s employment-to-population ratio is below the pre-pandemic levels 

In April, 64.4% of the state’s population over 16 plus had a job. That’s well below the pre-pandemic level of 66.8% but above April 2020’s number of 57%.

Southern Colorado has some of the highest unemployment rates 

These Colorado counties had the highest unemployment rates in April: San Miguel (10.0%), Huerfano (8.6%), Pueblo (8.6%), Gilpin (7.6%), Costilla (7.2%), and Fremont (7.2%).

Over the past 12 months, Colorado has gained back 247,700 of the 375,800 nonfarm payroll jobs lost between February and April of last year

That translates to a job recovery rate of 65.9 percent, which exceeds the U.S. rate of 63.3 percent.

The hospitality, education and health services industries had the biggest job gains 

CDLE said no industries have had significant declines, but mining and logging and information jobs did decline slightly.