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Mar 8, 2013 8:53 PM by Lacey Steele

Unemployment rate high in Pueblo

As of December, national unemployment was at 7.7%.

Colorado's is roughly the same at 7.6%.

But Pueblo's is much higher at 11.3%.

"Clearly the numbers are higher than we would like," said Jack Rink, PEDCO President and CEO.

But change is ahead.

"We obviously would like to get the unemployment rate down in Pueblo," said Rink.

PEDCO, for example, brings industries into Pueblo.

Industry brings jobs.

"We understand that times are tough, we officially said that PEDCO will not be participating in the economic downturn," said Rink.

Right now there are a couple of companies that are either planning to move here or ready to start construction.

"We're going to do everything we can to market Pueblo, and bring more jobs to the area," said Rink.

To get these jobs or others in the community, you can go to the Workforce Center.

"This week I know we've seen at least 50 job orders come through." said John Martinez, Workforce Center Director.

That adds to the number of jobs they already have open.

"There's about 273 job openings through the Workforce Center currently," said Martinez.

They know all about unemployment problems.

"A lot of that is the type of work that they're looking for, and then also there may not be a good skills match for the jobs we do have open," said Martinez.

The big issue is education, but remember there are programs you can use through the Workforce Center.

"They're having difficulty getting the jobs that normally were out there because a lot of people applying and competing for those similar jobs," said Martinez.

But keep in mind, high unemployment isn't entirely bad...

"It shows that there are people looking for work, qualified for those type of jobs, and many companies really do not want to move to areas that have very, very low unemployment," said Rink.

They're hoping more decide to make the move soon.

Again, 11.3% for Pueblo was from December's numbers.

Newer numbers are expected to be out in about ten days.

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