Counties with the highest unemployment in Colorado

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April 8, 2024
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Counties with the highest unemployment in Colorado

While today's unemployment rates are significantly lower than the COVID-19 pandemic peak of 14.7% experienced in April 2020, the fear of job losses remains as workers stare down an uncertain economic future.

Stacker compiled a list of counties with the highest unemployment rates in Colorado using Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Counties are ranked by their preliminary unemployment rate in February 2024, with initial ties broken by the number of unemployed people within that county, though some ties may remain. County-level unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Experts are mixed in their views of a potential recession. The return of student loan payments, continually high gas prices, persistent inflation, and insurance price escalations are just a few of the factors that could limit consumer spending and potentially prompt another recession.

The last economic recession before the pandemic—the Great Recession of 2007-09—sent unemployment rates up to 10% as of October 2009, and a full recovery took years.

But as of March 2024, the national unemployment rate remains relatively low at 3.8%—down slightly from the previous month. Regional and state employment varies widely depending on local economies. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates by state demonstrate a rather sizable spectrum, ranging from just 2% in North Dakota to 5.3% in California.

Read on to see the counties with the highest unemployment in Colorado.

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#50. San Juan County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.2%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 556 people (18 unemployed)

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#49. Kiowa County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.3%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 798 people (26 unemployed)

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#48. Grand County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.3%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 9,898 people (326 unemployed)

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#47. Pitkin County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.3%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 11,130 people (368 unemployed)

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#46. Bent County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.4%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 1,716 people (58 unemployed)

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#45. Lincoln County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.4%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 2,176 people (75 unemployed)

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#44. Prowers County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.4%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.5 percentage points
- Total labor force: 6,028 people (205 unemployed)

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#43. Clear Creek County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.5%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.5 percentage points
- Total labor force: 6,139 people (217 unemployed)

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#42. Elbert County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.5%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.8 percentage points
- Total labor force: 15,866 people (561 unemployed)

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#41. Logan County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.6%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 9,901 people (354 unemployed)

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#40. Boulder County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.6%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.9 percentage points
- Total labor force: 204,137 people (7,441 unemployed)

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#39. Hinsdale County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 348 people (13 unemployed)

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#38. Gilpin County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.9 percentage points
- Total labor force: 3,933 people (144 unemployed)

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#37. Park County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 11,609 people (435 unemployed)

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#36. Garfield County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.4 percentage points
- Total labor force: 32,684 people (1,218 unemployed)

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#35. Larimer County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.8 percentage points
- Total labor force: 215,753 people (8,042 unemployed)

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#34. Douglas County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.8%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 1.0 percentage points
- Total labor force: 208,783 people (7,935 unemployed)

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#33. Morgan County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.9%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.8 percentage points
- Total labor force: 15,115 people (589 unemployed)

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#32. Broomfield County/city

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.9%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 1.0 percentage points
- Total labor force: 42,732 people (1,677 unemployed)

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#31. Jefferson County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.9%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 1.0 percentage points
- Total labor force: 344,148 people (13,523 unemployed)

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#30. Dolores County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 1.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 1,049 people (42 unemployed)

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#29. Teller County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.8 percentage points
- Total labor force: 13,688 people (553 unemployed)

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#28. Arapahoe County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.8 percentage points
- Total labor force: 375,837 people (15,067 unemployed)

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#27. Sedgwick County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.1%
--- 1-month change: No change
--- 1-year change: Up 0.5 percentage points
- Total labor force: 1,061 people (44 unemployed)

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#26. Chaffee County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.1%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.8 percentage points
- Total labor force: 9,935 people (409 unemployed)

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#25. Custer County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.2%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 1.0 percentage points
- Total labor force: 2,074 people (88 unemployed)

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#24. La Plata County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.2%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.9 percentage points
- Total labor force: 30,765 people (1,293 unemployed)

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#23. Weld County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.3%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.9 percentage points
- Total labor force: 172,089 people (7,436 unemployed)

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#22. El Paso County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.3%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.9 percentage points
- Total labor force: 366,354 people (15,694 unemployed)

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#21. Ouray County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.4%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.9 percentage points
- Total labor force: 2,375 people (104 unemployed)

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#20. Conejos County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.4%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 1.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 3,688 people (161 unemployed)

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#19. Denver County/city

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.4%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 1.0 percentage points
- Total labor force: 438,849 people (19,483 unemployed)

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#18. Saguache County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.5%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.8 percentage points
- Total labor force: 3,264 people (147 unemployed)

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#17. Archuleta County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.5%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 1.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 6,639 people (301 unemployed)

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#16. Adams County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.5%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.9 percentage points
- Total labor force: 282,830 people (12,867 unemployed)

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#15. Rio Blanco County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.6%
--- 1-month change: No change
--- 1-year change: Up 1.0 percentage points
- Total labor force: 2,634 people (120 unemployed)

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#14. Moffat County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.6%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.8 percentage points
- Total labor force: 7,062 people (325 unemployed)

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#13. Montrose County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.6%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.9 percentage points
- Total labor force: 21,260 people (984 unemployed)

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#12. Mesa County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.6%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.8 percentage points
- Total labor force: 76,478 people (3,553 unemployed)

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#11. Alamosa County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.7%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 1.0 percentage points
- Total labor force: 7,675 people (358 unemployed)

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#10. Otero County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 7,400 people (372 unemployed)

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#9. Delta County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.1%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 13,510 people (689 unemployed)

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#8. Crowley County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.4%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.7 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 1,314 people (71 unemployed)

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#7. Costilla County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.6%
--- 1-month change: Down 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.6 percentage points
- Total labor force: 1,739 people (98 unemployed)

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#6. Pueblo County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.6%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 1.0 percentage points
- Total labor force: 75,346 people (4,217 unemployed)

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#5. Rio Grande County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 1.7 percentage points
- Total labor force: 4,983 people (300 unemployed)

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#4. Montezuma County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 1.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 11,570 people (692 unemployed)

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#3. Las Animas County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.3%
--- 1-month change: No change
--- 1-year change: Up 1.5 percentage points
- Total labor force: 5,786 people (363 unemployed)

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#2. Fremont County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.4%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 1.0 percentage points
- Total labor force: 14,163 people (910 unemployed)

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#1. Huerfano County

- February unemployment rate (preliminary): 7.7%
--- 1-month change: No change
--- 1-year change: Up 0.8 percentage points
- Total labor force: 2,411 people (185 unemployed)

This story features data reporting by Paxtyn Merten and is part of a series utilizing data automation across 50 states.

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