February unemployment ticks up slightly in Weld County; construction industry leads job growth | MyWindsorNow.com

February unemployment ticks up slightly in Weld County; construction industry leads job growth

Sharon Dunn
sdunn@greeleytribune.com

Weld County's February unemployment rate ticked up slightly from last year, but it remains low and steady from last month, according to numbers released Friday by the state Department of Labor and Employment.

Weld's unemployment rate sat at 3.1 percent, just one-tenth of a percentage point above the same time last year, but unchanged from January.

Comparatively, the Fort Collins metropolitan statistical area, which includes Loveland and Fort Collins, performed similarly, remaining unchanged at 2.9 percent from January, but edging up slightly from 2.8 percent the same time last year.

The state as a whole had a 3 percent unemployment rate, compared to the national rate of 4.1 percent, according to a news release.

While northern Colorado remained steady, other areas across the state had drops in their unemployment rate, the largest of which were in Pueblo, dropping to 4.9 percent from 5.1 percent in January, and Grand Junction, which moved to 4.6 percent from 4.8 percent in that time, the release stated.

In Weld County, the largest job gains during the month were in the mining, logging and construction category, with the addition of 600 workers, or a 3.3 percent gain from January — and the largest monthly jump in that category since June 2017. For the year, the category has grown 18.9 percent, with the addition of 3,000 jobs, by far the largest annual job growth of any category in Weld.

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That dovetails with the state's increases, where the categories are reported separately. Construction jobs grew the most across the state with an additional 2,000 jobs in February; mining and logging, statewide, showed an extra 200 jobs in the month. For the year, that has translated to a gain of 4,000 mining and logging jobs, or a 17 percent growth. Most of those jobs are in the oil and gas sector, and much of that is concentrated in Weld County.

In other categories, government showed a 500-job gain.

Trade, transportation and utilities gained 200, as did professional and business services and leisure and hospitality. Weld's manufacturing sector gained 100 positions during the month.

Statewide, the largest February private sector job gains were in construction, trade, transportation, and utilities, and manufacturing, according to the release. There were no significant private sector declines.

February Unemployment

Boulder 2.9 %

Colorado Springs 3.8

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood 3.1

Fort Collins 2.9

Grand Junction 4.6

Greeley 3.1

Pueblo 4.9

Source: Colorado Department of Labor and Employment