Unemployment increased slightly from June to July in Colorado, following a similar trend in the national rate, which also showed a slight increase in July.
Unemployment is up .1 percent from June to July, making the unemployment rate 8.3 percent for July. Colorado's unemployment rate for the last two months has been the same as the national rate, 8.2 in June and 8.3 in July. Colorado is tied with Alabama, Arizona and Kentucky for the 18th highest unemployment rate in the nation.
The largest over the month private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, professional and business and other services. The agency says there were no significant declines.
Colorado is a hotly contested battleground state in the upcoming election, and any rise or fall in the unemployment numbers over the next few months is sure to factor into both candidates' campaigns. Mitt Romney is trying to convince the public that President Obama's policies have failed the nation and led to sluggish economic improvement, while Obama argues that improvement takes time but there has been real improvement in the last year, and that Romney's policies will set the nation back. Known for its political fluidity, with voters swinging wildly back and forth between parties in any given year, Colorado is seen as one of the most competitive political states in the nation. Whichever argument resonates the most with Colorado voters, combined with what the unemployment numbers do over the next few months, likely determines which candidate wins the state.