Unemployment improves in Grand, still high compared to previous years

The unemployment rate for Grand County held steady from January to February and remained well below where it was last year.

Joblessness in Grand for February was measured at 5.6%, which was below the state average of 6.6% and the national average of 6.2%. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 557 workers in Grand County were without a job.

While the county’s rate stayed below state and national averages, the number was still up from where it was during the same time last year, similar to the unemployment rates in surrounding mountain communities.

At 2.2%, February 2020 was the last month of record low unemployment in Grand County, which sat at or below 3% for nearly four years.

Starting in March 2020, numbers spiked to record highs with nearly 20% of workers in Grand County jobless in April 2020.

The county’s unemployment rate tapered below 10% starting in July. At just above 5%, January and February have been the lowest months for joblessness since last spring’s shutdown.

As of Tuesday, there were 332 job opportunities advertised online for Grand County, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The businesses with the highest number of job openings included YMCA of the Rockies, Alterra Mountain Company, Vacasa, Ace Hardware and Sun Communities.

The top growing occupations in the area continue to be in the service industry: food preparation and serving, retail, housekeeping and cashiers. The average hourly wage for the county, assuming a 40-hour week worked year round, is $21.03, according to labor market information.

The spring mud season tends to be when unemployment peaks in Grand County, but numbers for 2021 will likely be improvements compared to the joblessness during the COVID-19 shutdown.


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