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Compensation program extended as jobless rates rise

By the numbers

Unemployment figures for October 2008*

  • Colorado: 5.3 percent
  • Moffat County: 3.6 percent
  • Routt County: 4 percent
  • Cañon City Micropolitan Statistical Area: 6.9 percent (highest in state)
  • Sedgwick County: 1.9 percent (lowest in state)

*Not seasonally adjusted

  • To file for unemployment, find out what benefits you are eligible for or renew your unemployment, go to http://www.coworkforce.com.
  • For information from the Colorado Workforce Center, go to yourworkforcecenter.com, call 879-3075 or visit the center at 425 Anglers Drive.

By the numbers

Unemployment figures for October 2008*

  • Colorado: 5.3 percent
  • Moffat County: 3.6 percent
  • Routt County: 4 percent
  • Cañon City Micropolitan Statistical Area: 6.9 percent (highest in state)
  • Sedgwick County: 1.9 percent (lowest in state)

*Not seasonally adjusted



  • To file for unemployment, find out what benefits you are eligible for or renew your unemployment, go to http://www.coworkforce.com.
  • For information from the Colorado Workforce Center, go to yourworkforcecenter.com, call 879-3075 or visit the center at 425 Anglers Drive.

Unemployment is increasing steadily in the state and Routt County, but more relief is available for those who are eligible.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment announced in a news release Monday that some people could get as many as seven more weeks of Emergency Unemployment Compensation. The extension of the program, passed in July, is a result of legislation President George W. Bush authorized Nov. 21.



The state Labor Department will send letters next week to those eligible for the extended compensation.

“We’re hoping that helps people here at least get through to the winter, so they can pick up some new jobs if the snow comes,” said Brian Bradbury, an employment specialist at the Steamboat Springs branch of the Colorado Workforce Center.

At the center, interest in unemployment benefits has continued to increase, Bradbury said.

“It’s increasing daily,” he said. “And we are having people come in; they have heard about the extension, so people who have run out of benefits are calling in about that.”

Routt County’s unemployment rate increased 0.8 percentage points from September to October, from 3.2 percent to 4 percent. That figure is not seasonally adjusted, which means it does not take into account the typical shift of employment patterns as seasons change.

Routt’s unemployment still is below the state unemployment rate.

“When comparing it with the state as a whole, instead of using the 5.7 (percent) number, which is seasonally adjusted, we look at the non-seasonally adjusted number, which is 5.3,” said Bill Thoennes, a spokesman for the Department of Labor and Unemployment.

Routt’s 4 percent unemployment figure amounts to 647 people, compared with 527 in September, according to state figures. Unemployment was 3 percent in October 2007.

Routt County’s labor force consisted of 16,343 people in October. That number is down from 16,591 in September.

Moffat County’s unemployment increased from 3.4 percent in September to 3.6 percent in October: from 312 to 333 people. Its rate was 2.6 percent in October 2007.

Although the state Labor Department handles unemployment claims, the unemployment rates it releases are separate, Thoennes said.

“There is an unemployment survey that is done that is not in conjunction with whether you are receiving benefits or not,” he said.

People interested in getting unemployment benefits can contact the Colorado Workforce Center for information. The center also keeps a list of job opportunities in Steamboat, Craig, Granby, Rangely and Meeker, Bradbury said.

“We get calls from out of state, people wondering if the building boom is still happening,” he said. “We provide a lot of information over the phone, as well.”

Bradbury said the center aims to address whatever work force needs it encounters.

“We’ll just answer those questions and try to be a resource for people,” he said.

– To reach Blythe Terrell, call 871-4234

or e-mail bterrell@steamboatpilot.com


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