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High Unemployment Lingers in Pueblo County

Business Expert Foresees More Tough Times

High Unemployment Lingers in Pueblo County

PUEBLO, Colo. - Finding a job in Pueblo County can be challenging. The county has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state- right above 10 percent.

"2013's gonna be very tough," said Rod Slyhoff, president and CEO of The Greater Pueblo Chamber. "The economy still is very, very fragile and we're still hovering in an almost recession mode."

Slyhoff says a lot of construction projects wrapped up last year, which is one of the reasons why the unemployment rate in Pueblo County hovered between 10 and 11 percent in 2012. Now, Slyhoff says some businesses are reluctant to hire.

"We know that a lot of our members are holding off in hiring people because they don't know if they'll be able to afford to keep those people based on having to provide healthcare for them if they're over so many hours," Slyhoff said.

Kelly Willis is a telemarketer. She and her husband moved to Pueblo about a year ago. Even though they both have jobs, she says finding one that pays much more than minimum wage is difficult.

"His family lives here and they help out a lot. They really help with the kids babysitting and everything, but yeah we've considered moving," Willis said.

But Slyhoff says there is help available for job seekers. He urges them to visit the Pueblo Workforce Center. There, employees help applicants sharpen their resumes and work on job skills. 

There is some good news for job seekers. Westwind Wood announced Friday it plans to hire about 90 people for a manufacturing plant it's opening in the Steel City.

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