Job growth in Mesa County behind state's progress

By: Alicia Gentile Email
By: Alicia Gentile Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Today the Governor's Office of State Planning and Budgeting announced Colorado has seen the fourth fastest job growth in the country since the end of the recession, but according to officials the report may not be a good reflection of job growth in the Grand Valley.

According to the OSPB, the state's general fund revenue has increased and they say the increase in revenue is from a larger than expected amount of estimated individual income tax payments received in April.

These findings indicate job growth is on the rise in Colorado, but many in Mesa County are scratching their heads as they struggle to find employment.

In May, Colorado's statewide unemployment rate held steady at 6.9 percent, but Mesa County's came in at 7.9 percent. It's a decrease from April's rate of 8.2 percent.

Kelly Corson is a local mother of three and has been looking for work since February.

"Well who are they kidding...at least in the Grand Valley, it's simply not true. I'm wondering where they're getting those numbers because I don't find that to be the case here," said Corson.

The Mesa County Workforce Center says there are many in a similar situation to Corson's, based on statistics and job postings on the Western Slope.

"While job orders here, locally, Mesa County, are up from where they were over the last few years, by no means is there a sorta feeling that we're outta this recession," said Suzie Miller of the Mesa County Workforce Center.

In addition to jobs not being what they used to be the center says wages remain low and have not returned to what they were before the recession hit.

Many jobs being offered in Mesa County are for part-time work.

However, officials say Mesa County isn't going in the wrong direction when it comes to improving our economy.

"We're not at least, maybe going in the wrong direction, but it doesn't feel like we're making enormous steps to increase our productivity here with our local economy," said Miller.

Meanwhile, Corson, is waiting for her chance to enter the workforce full-time.

"Ya, know being told, ya know now's not the time or no you're not a right fit- that's pretty tough and I just need a chance. Lots of us do," said Corson.

If you are looking for work, The Mesa County Workforce Center, will help you look for jobs and even help with your resume. The center is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


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