January 21 2010, 10:06 AM
While some federal officials boast that the recession is over, the fact remains that many people are out of work. Sadly, it seems unemployment rates haven't yet hit their peak. But in most U.S. cities, that should happen sometime this year, and it will be many more years before jobless rates return to their lows of the last decade, according to a new report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and research group Global Insight (via Reuters). The issue is palpable in Colorado, where The Pueblo Chieftain has issued a stern editorial titled, "Jobs? What Jobs?" wondering whatever happened to President Barack Obama's promise last year that the multi-billion-dollar "stimulus" would create or save scores of jobs. According to University of Colorado economist Rich Wobbekind, the state lost more than 100,000 jobs in 2009 and will lose another 3,200 this year. The true unemployment rate in Colorado, including those workers who have dropped out of the labor force, is above 17 percent. Those lucky enough to qualify for unemployment benefits won't be heartened to hear that the nation's insurance system is in crisis, according to an investigation by ProPublica. A record 20 million Americans collected benefits last year. So far, 25 states have run out of funds, forcing them to borrow from the feds, raise taxes, or cut benefits. Colorado unemployment benefits, according to the investigation, will be "insolvent" in six months. Last week, the chief of Colorado's labor department said the state expects to join about two dozen others in borrowing money from the federal government to shore up its fund for paying the unemployed (via the Associated Press).