Help wanted sign (copy)

A Help Wanted sign is displayed in the window of a restaurant at a shopping center in Charlotte, N.C. The Colorado Springs unemployment rate fell in July to 3.4% from 3.5% in June.

The Colorado Springs unemployment rate declined in July to a 15-month low of 3.4%, the fifth consecutive monthly drop this year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday.

The jobless rate continues to fall because employers are adding workers faster than people are entering the job market — more than 800 people joined the labor force in July, but the number holding jobs grew by nearly 1,200.

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The unemployment rate was 4% a year ago; since then 6,200 people have hit the job market while the number employed has grown by 8,200 and reduced the unemployed by nearly 2,000.

“This is quite positive for a one-year time span and the unemployment rate is actually lower,” said Tatiana Bailey, director of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Economic Forum.

“This means employers are (most of the time) finding workers, we have higher regional productivity, more tax revenue for projects/investments, more consumer spending and a higher standard of living for those newly employed.”

Payroll numbers, which the bureau calculates from a survey of businesses (the unemployment rate comes from a survey of households), also shows broad-based strength across the local economy. Payrolls have grown 2.5% during the past 12 months, the fastest annual growth rate since January 2018.

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The business and professional services, health care and social assistance, government and retailing sectors added more than 1,000 jobs from a year ago.

Unemployment rates fell statewide and in all seven of Colorado’s metropolitan areas from June to July, with the statewide rate falling to 2.9%, the lowest since March 2018.

Metro area jobless rates all fell 0.1 percentage points, except for Pueblo, which declined from 4.5% in June to 4.3% in July.

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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