When it comes to job growth, Colorado ranks last in the nation. We've already seen thousands of layoffs in the telecommunications and high-tech sectors. Now, there just aren't enough new job openings to replace those layoffs.
As of July, the unemployment rate in Colorado Springs was 6.1%. That's well above the national and state average. What's happening now is that people who were laid off from high-tech jobs are over-qualified for what's out there. Instead of taking the normal few weeks to find a job, it's taking more like a few months to find something.
Every day, Fredrick Meyer goes to Labor Finders to get temporary work. He has an associates degree in computer science, but can't find a job in his field. So Meyer is willing to do whatever it takes to make a living. That's if he's not considered over-qualified. He's been doing basic construction work, framing, and lot of ground maintenance.
Michelle Uvalle, who specializes in office administration, has been out of work since March. She is a single mother of two boys, so it's really tough. Tamara Jack with Stratus Services Group says jobseekers like Uvalle are common.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Colorado has almost 50,000 fewer jobs now than it did a year ago. At the Pikes Peak Workforce Center, besides trying to help people find jobs, director Peggy Herbertson says they're working closely with employers. They encourage businesses to see what they can to do to get even one more person on their employment rolls.
Herbertson also says that now is the time to network and meet people. That's one of the best ways to find a job. What's also happening, is people are leaving Colorado altogether because they can't find work here. That really has the Colorado Springs Economic Development Council concerned.