With Veterans Day on Nov. 11, Gov. John Hickenlooper issued a proclamation earlier this month declaring November as “Hire A Veteran Month,” and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has been spotlighting the veteran unemployment situation.
While the CDLE’s monthly report on unemployment doesn’t specify the numbers or percentage of veterans in the local workforce, the overall unemployment rate for Archuleta County continued to move in the right direction last month.
There were less people in the county’s labor force — 6,372 in October compared to 6,480 in September — and slightly less people employed — 6,153 compared to 6,241 — but the drop in the number of unemployed people fell by a larger margin, from 239 to 219. This pushed the unemployment rate down from 3.7 to 3.4 percent over the month.
In addition, the picture is quite a bit better than last year, when the October 2013 unemployment rate was 6.8 percent and there were only 6,039 people in the county’s workforce, with 409 claiming unemployment.
The governor’s proclamation noted in part that “veterans … have an ability to adapt and learn quickly and they bring the right mind-set, a good attitude, team spirit and personal attributes that all businesses are looking for. The integration of these highly qualified veterans into the workforce will greatly benefit our state’s businesses.”
From October 2013 to September 2014, the average unemployment rate for Colorado’s veterans was 7 percent, down significantly from earlier years. However, it is still well above 4.3 percent, the average unemployment rate for the general population during the same time period.