The Colorado Springs area job market continued to improve in June, with the unemployment rate declining to a 14-month low, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday.

The jobless rate fell from 3.7% in May to 3.5% in June, the fifth consecutive monthly drop as employment grew faster than the labor force, the agency’s data showed. More than 700 people jumped into the area’s job market in June, and the number holding jobs grew by more than 1,300 during the same period, reducing the number looking for work by nearly 600. The area’s unemployment rate has declined a full percentage point since January.

“As long as we keep up this momentum and the labor market stays tight, the more solid (our) footing will be as we enter the next downturn,” said Tatiana Bailey, director of the Economic Forum at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

“There is no indication the rate will go up soon, and I don’t see an increase in unemployment in our immediate horizon. This is everything you like to see — falling unemployment, growing employment and an expanding labor force.”

Payroll numbers, which the bureau calculates from a separate survey of businesses, show broad-based strength in the local job market. The area’s business and professional services sector and education and health services sector each added 2,300 jobs over the past 12 months, nearly 60% of the payroll growth. Construction, retail and government added more than 1,000 jobs, while employment in leisure and hospitality fell by 1,200.

Unemployment rates fell statewide and in all seven of Colorado’s metropolitan areas from May to June, with the statewide rate declining from 3.2% in May to a 14-month low of 3% in June. Boulder-Longmont had the lowest jobless rate in June at 2.5%, while Pueblo had the highest at 4.5%.

Contact Wayne Heilman 636-0234 Facebook www.facebook.com/wayne.heilman

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Contact Wayne Heilman 636-0234

Facebook www.facebook.com/wayne.heilman

Twitter twitter.com/wayneheilman

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