Colorado’s unemployment dips lower in October, but some groups could still be struggling

Only 3.5 percent of the Colorado’s workforce was unemployed in October, the state says.
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Denver Day Works’ first crew plants a tree in Civic Cneter Park. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) homeless; day labor; social work; kevinjbeaty; denverite; denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty;

Victor Martin Pacheco stands with a shovel at the launch of Denver Day Works. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Colorado posted another set of strong job numbers Friday, showing only 3.5 percent of the state's workforce was unemployed in October.

The state added more jobs during the month. More people joined the workforce. And more people found jobs, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

But at the end of the day, there were still 100,714 people — including more than 11,500 in Denver — without work last month, according to the state.

"Just not having a job doesn't mean, actually statistically, you're unemployed. You have to not have a job and want to have a job. You have to not have a job and have looked for a job," author Zachary Karabell told On The Media earlier this month.

Karabell talks about the shortcoming of today's economic indicators like the monthly jobs report in his book "The Leading Indicators: A Short History of the Numbers That Rule Our World." The author told On The Media that focusing on the overall unemployment number "tells you nothing about class realities or education realities."

The chart shows people who are less educated have higher unemployment rates and earn less than their peers. Source: U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 5.9 percent of African Americans in Colorado are unemployed; 6.3 percent of white 20 to 24-year-olds are without jobs; and 6.9 percent of Hispanic or Latino women need work.

"For the jobs report, when it's released a job is a job is a job," Karabell said. "Frankly, many of the jobs that were created over the past seven or eight years are mediocre jobs... You can have a good unemployment and a lot of legitimately unsatisfied people who are fully employed."

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Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at [email protected] or

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