In another report this morning, writers at the Denver Post are talking about the number of people moving to Colorado from surrounding states – a problem which creates havoc for job seekers in a state that is producing very few jobs and has seen a full one percentage point increase in its unemployment rate over the last year.
In a report titled, ‘2010 Census: Colorado has net gain of 56,310 residents in 2009-10’, writer Howard Pankratz indicated that according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the majority of people who moved from one state to another state (43.7%) did so for ‘housing-related reasons’ and that 14.4% of them said they moved due to employment-related needs. In his report, Pakratz wrote,
“Colorado saw an influx of 210,939 people from other states and abroad from 2009 to 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Monday.
The Denver-Aurora-Broomfield metro area picked up 89,883 people from other states and abroad during that time period, the bureau said.
The city of Denver added 21,436 residents from other states and abroad from 2009 to 2010.
The out-migration to other states from Colorado was 154,629. From the Denver-Aurora-Broomfield area, it was 60,605. From Denver it was 18,793.”
As has been previously reported more than one time in recent weeks & months, the state of Colorado has a jobs shortfall of nearly 125,000 jobs and the entire decade between 2000 and 2010 has been dubbed the ‘lost decade’ because so many people have moved into the state while very few jobs were created over the same ten year period.
This news about the number of people who continue to move to Colorado comes following Friday’s April jobs report which indicated that Colorado’s unemployment rate, which stood at a record 9.3% in February, dropped from 9.2% in March to 8.8% in April. The Colorado Department of Labor & Employment [CDLE] provided the following information pertaining to Friday’s report:
Between March and April, private-sector jobs increased by 2,300. The biggest gains came in mining, logging, transportation, utilities and leisure and hospitality. Construction had the biggest drop in jobs while government employment dropped by 100 payroll jobs.
Over the year, jobs increased by 8,200 (this is taken from an establishment survey that counts positions, not employees) but total employment declined over the year by 4,800 people (this is taken from a household survey that counts people; job seekers unsuccessfully reentering the job market can, in part, result in this decline). These over-the-year counts don’t depict any immediate direction of the economy. They are simply a comparison of where we were in April of 2010 with where we stand in April of 2011.
Alexandra Hall, an economist with the CDLE, made the following comment regarding Friday’s report, “Certainly, after going through quite a period of time when the unemployment rate was going up, it is nice to see a modest improvement.” Hall warns that as job opportunities become even slightly more plentiful, the number of people who had dropped out of the labor force may return and prompt more people moving to the state. The unemployment rate could bump upward due to these possible factors.
However, [Ms. Hall] is hearing more optimism in the business community. “You just didn’t hear that optimism a year and a half ago,” she said.
The drop in the unemployment rate is good news – don’t get me wrong – and Ms. Hall’s comments are far less biased than comments made by other politicians and government officials who refuse to even acknowedge (let alone include) the warnings such as those included in Ms. Hall’s statenebt. But let’s face it, the numbers have been deflated all along because of the number of people who are no longer counted.
For all of those who only see the glass half-full perspective and refuse to acknowledge the destroyed lives – millions of (formerly middle class) American workers who have lost everything, there is another side – and another perspective to this story but, sadly, until and unless you’ve been one of the millions of people who are:
a) NO LONGER COUNTED
and then, (as a result of no longer being counted)
B) NO LONGER MATTER (in context of the so-called ‘good news’ being reported by the politicians and repeated verbatim by the main stream media)
…and you’re literally living at someone else’s house and are sleeping on the couch, the floor or worse, in a car and can’t find a job then honestly, it feels like a slap in the face every time a polician or some other government spokesperson tells the you and the world how ‘good’ things are. The tens of thousands of 99ers in Colorado (and millions across the country) who have exhausted all U.I. benefits have been living like this for months and it continues to be brutal. It is brutally cruel.
The stafffers in Senator Michael Bennet’s (D-CO) office and elsewhere tell me they are ‘well aware of the 99ers and well aware of the discrimination that is going on against the unemployed based on age AND employment status’-but nobody cares enough to do anything. Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) doesn’t even bother to add his name as co-sponsor to HR589, a bill currently co-sponsored by more than 80 other House Democrats**
The responses from the politicians and government employees at the Department of Labor and elsewhere are pretty much expected. What really gets to the tens of millions of unemployed and under-employed Americans, though, is that there’s not a chance in hell that anyone in the meanstream media will ask the tough questions about how the long-term unemployed are faring as this market ‘improves’ because, remember – according to the politicians and the mainstream media, the long-term unemployed (99ers) don’t matter because they don’t exist. The notorious ‘if we ignore it, it will go away” mentality prevails.
That is a very difficult message to receive day in and day out in a country where, for the millions of hard-working, educated, middle class – but still unemployed – American workers who grew up believing that this country was so great & wonderful (and one in which they paid taxes for their entire working (adult+) lives) – who grew up believing in the American Dream, achieved the American Dream, just to have it yanked from their grasp while much of the nation (including neighbors and often, family members) just simply pretends they (and their struggles with being homeless and destitute) don’t exist.
To further illustrate this point, another Denver Post report titled, ‘Colorado jobless rate drops for second month, to 8.8 percent’ included the following conclusion:
“We would like to see these trends continue for several months before reading too much into the numbers,” said Ellen Golombeck, the state’s labor executive director.
Consumer confidence, which plays a big role in the economy, “is starting to tick back up,” said Robert McGowan, a management professor at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business.
“There still is an issue with the price of fuel, but aside from that people are starting to feel a little bit better,” McGowan said.
That is reflected in increased demand for services, which means more jobs.
As reported in a recent article, the number of 99ers in Colorado is set to double within just the next few weeks. That number will then increase by another 30,000 in the upcoming few months.
How many of the long-term unemployed Americans are feeling this increased confidence and enjoying increased spending power?
** Congressman Polis: WHY are you not yet a co-sponsor of HR589? The long-term unemployed need help! Most of the 99ers (millions across the country – and going to be 100,000 here in CO) are boomers over the age of 45-50 and are facing blatant discrimination based on age AND employment status (ie the unemployed need not apply). I’m asking you- as a consituent that voted fro you to support HR589 and HR1113 and to sign on to these bills with the CBC as a co-sponsor. (please encourage Congressman Polis to support HR589 by adding your name & comment to his Facebook page where I asked him again yesterday to support HR589).