Lake County Shows Slight Rise in Employment
State Releases May Jobs Report
As people begin to return to work, the unemployment rate is dropping in Lake County but overall remains high across the region. The May report from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) puts local unemployment at 15%, down almost 2 percentage points from their April findings.
And it’s no surprise that the largest private-sector job losses were in leisure and hospitality, particularly for the Colorado high country. In fact, the silver lining for Leadville and Lake County this summer is the increase in construction and highway projects, allowing the trade, transportation, and utility sectors to continue to put people to work.
But the other reality for Lake County is that for many seasonal workers who are now collecting not only regular unemployment benefits but an extra $600/week as part of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) project, now find themselves making significantly more money on unemployment than they would by getting back into the workforce during the busy summer season. The help wanted signs and job listings for local tourist sector businesses are growing every week. Time will tell if those positions will get filled as the summer crowds rush in.
However, workers should be made aware that last week the CDLE announced that the additional PUA benefits are set to expire at the end of July. The notice explained:
“As part of the CARES Act, the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC), the program has been tremendous support for those who have suddenly lost jobs or income during the last three months. It has also created a challenge for employers to get employees back to work. Though Congress has discussed possible extensions to the program, there is no indication those will pass both branches of government or be signed by the President. Recipients are encouraged to begin looking for work now and not wait until the added benefit is gone.”
On the flip side of the labor coin, is some help for employers looking to fill those positions. The Colorado Workforce Center is offering help for “Planning in a Crisis.” The upcoming webinar is tomorrow Tuesday, June 23 by the Colorado Workforce Center. It’s a couple of hours from 9 – 11 a.m. and will address the level of uncertainty in the workplace.
Join the group for an interactive workshop to go over the current state of small businesses, the effects that the pandemic has made on them, and what business decisions you can make in efforts to retain employees while being as cost-effective as possible.
The discussion will business owners learn how to think through a staffing and labor force plan that aligns with their business needs and services. Topics covered will include:
- Retaining employees
- Workforce planning in the face of changing business conditions
- Why using a skills-based approach to hiring and performance evaluation is critical
- Register for free HERE.
And finally here are the report highlights from the CDLE‘s May 2020 unemployment numbers.
- The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment estimates that two-thirds of workers laid off indicated that they are on temporary layoffs, or hope to return to their jobs, down from 80% in April.
- Twenty percent of the jobs lost in April were recovered in May. Nationally, 11% of jobs were recovered.
- Of the May job gains, 43% were leisure and hospitality, but that only accounts for 18% of the leisure hospitality job losses.
- The COVID-10 pandemic launched an economic crisis that has resulted in record-high unemployment across Northwest Colorado. May numbers showed there are nearly seven unemployed workers for each available job.
But this doesn’t mean that jobs will be easy to fill. Many people were laid off in the leisure and hospitality and food service industries and those workers may not have the skills to fill the available jobs, which are predominantly in landscaping, construction, and healthcare. The persistent labor shortages prior to the pandemic will continue to exist for in-demand occupations as the same skills gaps exist.
In addition, many workers also continue to wait and see if they will be able to return to their previous position. But there is assistance available for employers and a Workforce Business Service Representatives can assist businesses throughout the recruitment and hiring process, and are trained in best practices for employee retention. Get help with creating job descriptions that appeal to applicants and give you the best applicant pool to choose from, programs that pay you to train new employees, programs that can help you develop a talent pipeline, and education programs for incoming and existing employees.
Colorado Workforce Centers can help find the right candidate through a variety of services, including:
- Posting jobs on the state’s largest job database
- Pre-screening applicants to ensure they meet your criteria
- Assessments that prove applicants have the skills you need
- Funding and resources to train new hires
Are your wages competitive? How much competition is there for the skill set you’re seeking? Interested in economic or demographic projections to support your business planning? Workforce centers can provide a variety of labor market data.
In Lake County, the Leadville Workforce Center can be reached at (719) 486-2428.
“How to” CDLE Video Series
Which Type of Claim to File
Getting Paid Regular Unemployment Claim
Getting Paid PUA Claims