Mesa County Unemployment Filings On the Rise

By: Jessica Zartler Email
By: Jessica Zartler Email

We hear that Mesa County is in a bubble, immune from many of problems the rest of the country faces with a booming oil and gas industry but data from the Mesa County Workforce Center is showing signs of a slump, more people without jobs and openings getting scarce.

Shirley Crane–Brian was retired but Friday she was at the workforce center looking for a job.

"Things are too expensive and with the economy and a new president coming in, we just don't feel secure."

She says social security and small savings just aren't cutting it.

"I've clipped all the coupons I can find so I have to go this route."

She was one of dozens at the workforce center looking for a job. And it's not just people looking for extra income, more people are unemployed in Mesa County.

According to the numbers, new filings have almost doubled in the past year. In September of 2007 91 Mesa County residents applied for the benefits while in Septmeber of this year, that number was 172.

Gilbert Lujan with the Mesa County Workforce Center says he's also seen a drop in job openings, a sign that the Grand Valley may not be immune from the national slump.

"At this point in time we may be starting to see some of that penetrate into Mesa County," Lujan told 11 News on Friday.

But even though it's a bleak outlook, Lujan says we won't know if this is a true trend until the end of the year numbers come in.

"It's just too early to tell. It's just a waiting game to see what happens."

The silver lining--it could be worse. As of October of this year, Mesa County's unemployment rate was at four percent, the state at 5.7 percent and the country at 6.5 percent.

Although there may be more people looking for work than there are jobs, that's not stopping Shirley Crane–Brian.

"I will get a job. I won't quit until I do."

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