Colorado

Jul 2, 2010 11:39 PM by Matt Stafford

Mixed review

Recently released national labor statistics show the unemployment rate dropped in June from 9.7% to 9.5%, but the number of jobs dropped as well.

At the Pikes Peak Workforce Center, employees can only judge by what they've seen, and that's been fewer faces coming in for help.

"That may be an indication that people are getting more discouraged," says Michelle Graham, interim director of business and community initiatives for the Pikes Peak Workforce Center.

Along with unemployment benefits running out in June, the pressure is on for many.

"We've seen higher tensions, we've seen higher stress levels," Graham says. "There's a greater sense of urgency."

The unemployment percentage is factored by people actually looking for jobs, so if the job shopper stops looking, they aren't counted. Economists say this makes the percentage look better.

Overall job loses, like in June, can add to that discouraging feeling some of the unsuccessful job seekers have. However, there are positive points to look for as well, like June's increase in private sector jobs.

"83,000 real jobs were created last month but it's not enough to keep up with the demand for people looking for work," explains Fred Crowley, senior economist with U.C.C.S. That increase in jobs was clouded by nearly a quarter of a million census jobs that are no more.

Being temporary those job loses were expected, but Crowley says what we didn't expect was another roughly 80,000 government jobs that were lost. That's a trend he expects to continue.

"That's partly because the stimulus money that put them into positions, that's beginning to run out," Crowley says. "We can expect to see more government job losses over the next several months."

In that time, at the workforce center, the plan is the same; to keep plugging away, despite the numbers. They've seen employers looking to hire, and they want to see more of that.

"We're encouraging people to not give up, to keep getting out there in the public." says Graham.

Crowley says those discouraged workers are a big issue. He says they, like everyone else, add to the sales tax revenue. To Crowley, increasing sales tax revenue is crucial to economic recovery.

 

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