Unemployment claims up from Dec. 2012 to 2013

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. More people in Mesa County are unemployed than this time last year, but workforce center employees said jobs are out there.

"I've been laid off for about two, three weeks now, so I'm just coming down here looking up all the resources," said Mesa County Workforce Center visitor Roy Archuleta. He previously had a painting job, which is difficult to do in the winter.

December 2013 saw 260 new filings of unemployment claims compared to 236 filings in December 2012.

"That's a little bit concerning," said Suzie Miller, of the Mesa County Workforce Center. "We would hope to see that number continue to go down year over year when we look at that number if our economy is improving, so it's really not probably the rate that we would like to be seeing right now."

Seasonal layoffs in retail and construction are common right now, Miller said.

"Holiday hiring has come to an end," she said. "Sort of the retail and hospitality, they're slimming down. This is also a cold time of year so not a lot of construction projects are going on."

Overall in 2013, there were nearly 250 more job orders than the year before and each order represents two to three actual job openings.

The Mesa County Workforce Center will be hosting its annual job fair on February 4.

There are already 29 employers signed up to recruit new workers.

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