COLORADO SPRINGS — When the pandemic hit, statistics from the U.S. Labor of Bureau Statistics show the City of Colorado Springs jumped from 3.4 percent unemployment in February to 12.3 percent unemployment in April.
Statewide, the unemployment rate went from 2.5 percent to 12.2 percent in the same time frame.
"A massive amount of people got laid off," said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers.
We're starting to see improvement, with the unemployment rate now at 9.7 percent in Colorado Springs for the month of May.
Statewide, it is now at 10.2 for the month of May.
It's a trend Suthers expects will continue.
"The expectation is each month that's gonna improve," he said.
Sectors seeing job gains include the trade industry, which the installation company WireNut is now offering.
"All that work is needing to be done now," said Trent Urban, President and Owner of WireNut Home Services.
Urban says calls for service are booming, attributing this to a combination of homeowners delaying services, while entering their already-busiest season of the year.
"We're asking our team to put in the extra time where they can and to take care of the things that they can, you know, on that time, get through as quick as possible while doing it right," he explained.
But what Urban needs are more employees, which he's willing to hire immediately and train on-the-job in different roles such as HVAC installers, HVAC customer service reps, electrical installers, electrical service technicians, and plumbers.
The only problem is people aren't applying. Urban says he lost a dozen workers who chose to stay home, and half haven't returned.
"Because of the COVID fears, people aren't ready to go back to work," Urban said. "And I think it's also an element of the unemployment that's being thrown at them."
So Urban is urging those who are interested in trade jobs to take advantage of the opportunity that's available, and make a dent in those unemployment numbers.
"Once they realize they are ready to go back into the workforce and that there is an opening for them, [I hope] that they take that and help out," he said.