Leadville Numbers Barely Budge in Busy Season
“Nobody wants to go back to work.”
It was a concise answer from an eatery entrepreneur about how business was doing on historic Harrison Avenue during what would normally be the thick of the busy season in Leadville Today. While some of the tourism traffic has returned to the main street restaurant it has been a roller coaster ride of public health regulations and restrictions. “And I don’t blame them,” she added, because the truth of the matter is that a lot of seasonal workers have simply decided to take the summer off.
Depending on how things play out with the next round of stimulus funding back in Washington, DC, the current Lake County labor scenario could easily stretch into fall. And it’s not just the seasonal tourist employees, the traditional blue-collar workers are collecting unemployment benefits as well. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone is idle. There are plenty of under-the-table cash deals going on in Lake County. And in many ways, these could be just the type of situations that keep local families afloat during these trying times. So as the politicians battle it out and school officials figure out what their next step is, here’s what Leadville Today can tell you about the official labor numbers from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
On Monday, July 20 the official June 2020 job reports numbers for Colorado came in and while Lake County saw a slight tick upward from May’s 15%, the number still stands at a solid 13.8% in the middle of Lake County’s traditional “busy” season.
Economic Highlights from the CDLE:
- The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment estimates that 20% of workers laid off indicated that they are now permanently laid off, up from 10% in May.
- The state’s unemployment rate increased by three-tenths of a percentage point in June.
- Since May, Colorado has gained back only 126,000 of the 342,300 non-farm payroll jobs lost between February and April.
- Economists are concerned about how the end of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance will affect the economy, particularly with a reduced number of available jobs.
The Next Step: Going Back or Moving On?
The end of many people’s 16-week “job-attached” status is creating consternation among employers who aren’t open, but don’t want to lose employees and among employees who, even though they aren’t working, feel they still have a job.
According to a newsletter distributed by the Northwest Colorado Workforce Area, those who filed for job-attached unemployment got one benefit: Their weekly work-search requirements are waived for 16 weeks. Those 16 weeks have come to an end for many workers across the state and they have been notified about the resumption of work-search activities. There is an assumption that the business will rehire the employee and that the employee will return, but a job-attached status doesn’t obligate the employer to rehire or the employee to return.
Those searching for new employment are at a disadvantage. Jobs are not coming back online at a rate that matches the number of unemployed, a trend reflected across the country. The good news for job seekers is that “career-based education” counts as a work-search activity and is particularly beneficial to those not seeking new employment. So pay attention to the opportunities presented at this particular moment in time. There are several opportunities highlighted below.
Retail, hospitality, tourism, and food and beverage is Colorado’s second-largest industry in the number of jobs. Join this interactive event where experts discuss strategies for economic recovery and sustainability for this important industry.
- WHY: Retail, hospitality, tourism, and food and beverage is Colorado’s second-largest industry in the number of jobs. Because so many workers rely on jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry and because many others get their first work experience in frontline positions, there has never been more of a need to ensure employees have opportunities to develop skills that pave the way to advancement, higher wages, and opportunities in this industry and others.
- WHAT: Engage in a discussion about strategies for economic recovery and identify opportunities for upskilling, reskilling, and reallocating workers in ways that support their economic well-being and business success.
- WHO: This event brings together industry leaders, education partners, and workforce development to identify shared solutions for economic recovery for the industry and frontline workers. Representatives from businesses in these industries, frontline workers, and public partners and funders are encouraged to attend.
This is a FREE interactive webinar to be held this Thursday and Friday, July 23-24 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. REGISTER HERE.
Construction Careers: Step Up!
Construction Careers Now team has created a virtual Construction Careers Now class to keep construction workforce development efforts moving forward. This interactive, virtual class will be presented live from our training facility and the next virtual class will start on August 10 and registration is now open. The four-week CCN class will continue to be taught by our top-notch – professional Emily Griffith Technical College instructors in a safe and socially distancing compliant setting.
The next class starts on Aug. 10. No experience necessary No cost to the participant – industry-sponsored tuition. Valued at $1,500 per participant. No experience needed – must be a Colorado resident. Graduates will earn an Emily Griffith Technical College CCN completion certificate and an OSHA-10 safety card.
Update: The Stimulus Package