Unemployment rate steady in Routt County | SteamboatToday.com

Unemployment rate steady in Routt County

Rate at 6 percent in September, mirroring August

Mike Lawrence

— Six percent of Routt County’s 14,614-member work force was unemployed in September, according to figures released Wednesday. That amounts to 876 people.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said Colorado’s unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in September. That’s a slight dip from August’s 7.1 percent state rate but is still more than the state’s 4.8 percent rate in September 2008.

Those numbers have not been adjusted for typical seasonal changes.

In Routt County, September’s 6 percent rate was steady with August’s 5.9 percent rate. But local unemployment still is well more than the county’s 3.4 percent rate in September 2008.

At the Steamboat Springs office of the Colorado Workforce Center, labor and employment specialist Jackie Mitchell said winter job listings are picking up, especially from resort management companies.

“What we’re seeing is a lot of people applying for hospitality jobs,” she said Wednesday. “That is definitely the trend.”

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Mitchell said many listings at the Workforce Center are for housekeeping, cooking and health care positions.

“We’re starting to see more jobs, which is great,” Mitchell said. “We’re helping a ton of people with their resumes.”

The growth in local job opportunities is a matter of perspective. Mitchell said the Workforce Center has about 35 job listings, which is up from just seven job listings at one point in recent months, she said.

But normally at this time of year, she said, the Workforce Center has about 150 job listings.

Mitchell said Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. is not listing jobs with the Workforce Center at the moment, a break from trends as winter approaches. There also is a continuing lack of construction and trade work, Mitchell said.

“No electricians, no pipe fitters, nothing like that,” Mitchell said.

On Tuesday at a lunchtime business forum hosted by the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs, Jamie Morgan, of Mountain Cuts, anecdotally noted a decrease in local construction work.

“Three to 5 o’clock in our store used to be Carhartts and work boots,” he said about customers coming in for haircuts. “They’re just not there anymore.”

The construction industry cut 4,300 jobs statewide in September, according to the state labor department. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded a loss of 63,000 construction jobs nationwide in September.

Mitchell said an upcoming event could be a valuable resource for local job seekers.

The Workforce Center is hosting a Winter Job & Resource Fair from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Nov. 5 in Olympian Hall at Howelsen Lodge.

Mitchell said the event would offer not only recruitment by local employers, but also resources for job seekers including child care options, human services programs, resume writing techniques, and even consultations about bankruptcy, mortgage refinancing and foreclosure.

Job seekers can call the Workforce Center at 879-3075 or e-mail steamboatsprings@cwfc.net.

Federal figures show a 9.8 percent national unemployment rate in September. Donald Mares, executive director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, took an optimistic view of the state’s employment figures.

“September results indicate the worst is behind us here in Colorado,” Mares said in a news release. “The trend of fewer job losses should continue in coming months.”

By the numbers

September labor force

Colorado: 2.7 million

Routt County: 14,614

Moffat County: 8,843

Grand County: 8,934

Eagle County: 30,469

Jackson County : 1,368

Unemployment percentage

(in Sept. 09, Aug. 09, Sept. 08)

Colorado: 6.7, 7.1, 4.8

Routt County: 6, 5.9, 3.4

Moffat County: 5.6, 5.8, 3.4

Grand County: 5.8, 5.8, 3.6

Eagle County: 6.2, 6.1, 3.5

Jackson County: 3.3, 3.6, 2.4

If you go

What: Winter Job & Resource Fair

When: 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Nov. 5

Where: Olympian Hall in Howelsen Lodge

Contact: Call the Workforce Center at 879-3075, e-mail steamboatsprings@…, or visit the office in Sundance Plaza.