With snow reported on Wolf Creek Pass Monday afternoon and one of Pagosa’s largest industries — skiing — almost ready to fire up for another season, the local employment situation continues to improve.
According to a report issued last week by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, the unemployment rate in Archuleta County fell another half of a percentage point over the month to 4.6 percent.
In August, the overall labor force was 6,586, down 116 workers or 1.7 percent compared to 6,702 in July. However, of those people, 6,280 had jobs while 306 people claimed unemployment, whereas last month, 6,357 had jobs and 345 did not.
Over the year, Archuleta County’s unemployment rate fell from 7.0 percent in August 2013, when 5,984 people had jobs and 449 claimed unemployment.
Looking at this August’s employment situation for the rest of the state, Costilla County had the highest unemployment rate for the month with 8.9 percent, while Baca and Cheyenne counties tied for the lowest with 2.1 percent.
According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate for the entire state decreased two-tenths of a percentage point to 5.1 percent. The last time the Colorado unemployment rate was as low as 5.1 percent was September 2008.
Also across the state, the number of people participating in the labor force decreased 3,700 over the month and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increased 2,200. The increase in total employment and the decrease in labor force caused the number of unemployed to decrease 5,900 and the unemployment rate to decline to 5.1 percent.