More Work, Less Money

There’s good news and bad news for Colorado’s working people: There were more jobs in the state’s largest counties last year, but those jobs paid less.A report released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics on county employment trends examined Colorado’s nine largest counties. They all showed an increase in jobs between September 2005 and September 2006 — up between 0.2 percent in Jefferson County to a 4.6 percent increase in Douglas County.

But five of the counties showed an overall decline in weekly wages — from 0 percent in Jefferson to a -3.7 percent in Douglas County. Even the counties that showed increases in weekly wages mostly did not keep up with inflation. Only Denver, with an increase of 1.7 percent in overall employment and a 4.1 percent increase in weekly wages, showed any real wage growth.

Douglas County was ninth in the nation among counties for job growth and 317th (out of 325 measured) in wage growth.

Nationwide, the county with the most job growth was Jefferson Parish, New Orleans, reflecting recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

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Dan Whipple

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