Making a Living in the Clouds
Lake County Job Numbers Improving
Last week, the Colorado Employment Situation for August 2020 was distributed by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) reporting what many anticipated to likely be the best Leadville picture for 2020 in terms of people getting back to work. A one-and-a-half percent drop in Lake County’s unemployment numbers in one month from 8.1% in July down to 6.6% in August indicates that laborers jumped back into the market as the tourism season and construction season saw its best month on the calendar.
“We were busy,” stated one downtown retailer, “even with restrictions in place, the people who came in were ready to buy.” Informal, non-scientific data collected through simple conversations with several Harrison Avenue businesses indicated that a majority of visitors seemed to be from Texas. In addition, many eateries saw the benefit of weekday customer traffic from all of the construction crews in Leadville this summer. In fact, the major challenge was employees, with the “Help Wanted” sign making a regular rotation through Lake County establishments in recent months.
“I had to bring my cousin in from Michigan to help out,” stated Nathan Fisher, owner of Leadville’s historic Pastime Cafe and Bar. But not everyone made it through the Summer of COVID-19 with Periodic Brewing announcing its closure via social media in early September 2020 after nearly 5 years in bsuiness.
Readers can find some economic highlights, as well as a, peek at how neighboring counties are doing on the COVID jobs rebound in the data provided below. And for those who are still unemployed, there are some great FREE, educational resources and webinars available in the weeks ahead. Have you ever thought about opening a retail space on Harrison Avenue? Or maybe you already have a storefront! Then the “Lives Empowered Academy” is perfect for you. Hear from retail experts across the country about how COVID has impacted the industry and what they are doing for recovery. You can’t beat irst-hand experience from experts in the field! Details below.
Or if you know someone looking to get into the construction industry, there is a FREE program that not only concisely and precisely teaches you what you need to know but sets you up for success by getting you connected to all of the licenses, and certification you need to enter this fast-growing industry. And remember, better pay is usually associated with certification and education. Details are listed below with the next FREE session beginning October 19, so plenty of time to plan ahead.
As Lake County rides out the fall and heads into the traditionally quieter, shoulder season, it’s a good time to up your game and take advantage of the wide variety of free programs that might normally cost hundreds of dollars.
And for those Lake County businesses that have been holding on to their hats for the past six months – good for you! Your hard work and dedication are paying off. But if it’s still not paying enough, then hopefully by now, you have heard about the next round of funding. The Energize Colorado program opens applications starting October 5, giving you time to prepare the paperwork. Details and links are listed below.
- Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 6.7 percent in August from 7.4 percent in July. The national unemployment rate declined one and eight-tenths of a percentage point to 8.4 percent.
- The number of individuals employed in Colorado increased by 26,000 in August to 2,880,900, which represents 62.2 percent of the state’s 16+ population. While Colorado’s employment-to-population ratio continues to improve since April, when it was 58.3 percent, it is still well below the February level of 67.7 percent.
- Private industry sectors with significant job gains in August were: leisure and hospitality (~10,000), education and health services (~7,100), trade, transportation, and utilities (~6,100), and professional and business services (~3,600). There were no significant over the month declines.
- Since August 2019, nonfarm payroll jobs have decreased 147,800, with losses totaling 124,200 in the private sector and 23,600 in government. The largest private sector job losses were in leisure and hospitality (~66,300), trade, transportation, and utilities (~18,100), and other services (~10,700). Colorado’s rate of job loss over the past year is -5.3 percent, compared to the U.S. rate of -6.8 percent.
Looking for Work? Or Maybe Employees?
Employers can search thousands of jobseekers through Connecting Colorado. Access to applicants gives employers an opportunity to be proactive in recruitment. That’s right, one of the many benefits of having a free account with Connecting Colorado is employers can post jobs AND search the job seeker list for potential employees. Be proactive in looking for your next great hire.
Recruiting? Learn what workers want! ManpowerGroup asked more than 8,000 people in 8 countries how the COVID crisis is changing what workers want. A dramatic workforce transformation is happening:: COVID-19 began as a health crisis and is playing out as an economic and social crisis. Work literally left the building and whole industries are disrupting at speeds never seen before. In these unpredictable times, one thing is certain – this crisis should be a catalyst for a new future of work, that is more flexible, more diverse and more wellbeing-oriented than we could ever have imagined. READ the REPORT HERE.
New Funds for Businesses
Energize Colorado, alongside the State of Colorado and the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, announce that Round 2 applications for grants and loans through the Energize Colorado Gap Fund will open on Monday, October 5, 2020. Round 1 applications closed September 14. Small businesses with fewer than 25 full-time employees can apply for support through a mixture of grants and loans, up to a maximum of $15,000 in grants and $20,000 in loans for a possible combined total of $35,000 in financial assistance. Learn more HERE.
Also, #didyouknow, 85% of workers report that they are concerned about their finances. Enrich provides free access to financial education and resources to ease the financial stress employees face.
Start a Business or Make a Career Move
Have you ever thought about starting your own little shop? Maybe one right downtown on Harrison Avenue? Well, retail is changing so if you want ti to poise your business for success why not learn – for FREE – from the experts? The Lives Empowered Academy is a free program offering National Retail Foundation recognized credentials for retail workers across the state. Whether new to the industry or looking for a promotion, this opportunity is for you.
Begin a career in construction in four weeks with the next session beginning Oct. 19. No cost to students. Graduates earn A CCN completion certificate and an OSHA-10 safety card. This interactive, virtual class will be presented live from our training facility 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. CCN recruiters will continue to support your efforts to enter the construction industry virtually also and will share their passion, knowledge, and industry expertise from registration to graduation and beyond.
Local and State Workforce Contacts
Your Leadville Workforce Center staff are some of the best people to work with and are available by appointment at 719.486.2428.
Special thanks to Mark Hoblitzell, Regional Business Services Coordinator with the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment for providing much of the latest labor and employment information for Lake County. He may be reached at Mark.Hoblitzell@state.co.us | 970.880.4092.
All Aboard for Autumn