May’s unemployment rate better but remains bleak in Grand |

May’s unemployment rate better but remains bleak in Grand

Sky-Hi News staff report

Grand County’s unemployment rate dropped slightly in May but still remains at a historic high.

Facing the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, joblessness has spiked throughout the country. In April, Grand saw its highest ever rate in 30 years of data at 19% unemployed, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

May looks only slightly better with unemployment at 16%, or 1,445 jobless of a 9,020 person workforce, not seasonally adjusted. Across the state, unemployment decreased slightly in May to 10.2%, while the national rate is at 13.3%.

Grand’s rate is similar to nearby communities with Summit County at 19.4% unemployed, Routt at 14.4% and Eagle at 17.7%.

Historically, May is usually the worst month for joblessness in Grand County. The highest unemployment rate since 1990, not including the past two months, was 11.4% in May 1992.

Employers in Colorado added 68,800 nonfarm payroll jobs from April to May, and the number of people actively participating in the labor force increased by 8,400 people statewide.

Leisure and hospitality added 29,700 jobs in May, while education and health services added 23,000. However, these were also the sectors that have seen some of the greatest overall job losses this year.

Of the May job gains, 43% were leisure and hospitality, but that’s only 18% of the total hospitality jobs lost. The unemployment office said that 20% of Colorado jobs lost in April were recovered in May, which is more than the national recovery rate of 11%.

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