Weld County has almost 5,000 more people working than it did at this same time last year, according to employment numbers released Friday by the state.
Weld, also known as the Greeley Metropolitan Statistical Area, increased its employment base to 120,964 in February, compared to 116,078 at the same time last year.
The numbers drove down the unemployment rate to 6.7 percent, almost 2 full percentage points improved from the same time last year. That percentage is not adjusted for seasonal fluctuations.
Statewide, the unemployment rate — adjusted for seasonal changes — was 6.1 percent, according to a survey of households. The unadjusted rate was 6.7 percent.
The national unemployment rate also declined to 6.7 percent.
According to a news release issued Friday by the state Department of Labor and Employment, the state’s nonfarm payroll jobs increased 65,300 over the year.
Preliminary employment statistics show the oil and gas and construction industries increased the most over the year with 2,200 new jobs in Weld. In the last month, that category increased by 100 jobs.
Trade, transportation and utilities grew by 700 over the year in Weld, while retail grew by 500. Government jobs, which include state, local and educational, grew by 800 over the year.
Across the highway, the Fort Collins/Loveland labor force grew by more than 6,700 jobs, lowering its unemployment rate to 5.5 percent. Last year at this time, the unemployment rate there was 6.3 percent.