Outcome: Families in Pueblo Have the Resources to  Nurture Their Children

Indicator: Unemployment Rate

Significance of this indicator:

Unemployment has a wide scope of negative results that impact the lives of children and families.  According to the article, “Unemployment: A Children's Issue,” by Christina Kelly (see First Focus website), unemployed parents lack the resources to support the healthy development of their children. Often, children of unemployed parents do not have access to nutritious meals, safe living conditions, or resources for learning and growth. Long-term unemployment can change the dynamic of the household and affect a child’s attitude and aspirations, which shapes their future achievement. Research cited in the brief shows that parental unemployment can lead to lower rates of college access and lower future earnings for the child when they become part of the workforce. 

This article provides the following facts:

  • In 2012, 6.2 million children lived in families with at least one unemployed parent.
  • 1 in 6 or 12.1 million children are impacted by parental unemployment or underemployment.
  • Between 2007 and 2012, the number of children with parents unemployed for 6 months or longer more than tripled, rising from .8 million in 2007 to 2.8 million in 2012.

How we are doing on this indicator:

The unemployment rate surged between 2008 and 2009, increasing by more than one third to 9.3% in Pueblo and 8.3% statewide.  Both Pueblo’s and Colorado’s rates increased again in 2010, but Colorado’s unemployment rate has started to decline slowly.  Pueblo’s rate has continued to increase each year, although the increases have tapered off since 2010.

This year showed the first major decline in the unemployment rate for both Pueblo and Colorado; both decreasing by 3 percentage points.

What the Data Tell Us


The unemployment numbers above are for the entire population. The Kids Count Data Center also provides state-level unemployment numbers for parents only.  Parents have the following lower unemployment rates than the general population in Colorado:  2008 - 3%, 2009-6%, 2010-8%, 2011-7%, 2012-6%., 2013-5%, 2014-3%

Definition:  Annual unemployment rate by county, not seasonally adjusted.

Data Source:  U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Provided by the Colorado Children’s Campaign, Kids Count Data Center  

Data Considerations: Official unemployment rates can underestimate true unemployment. On one hand, they do not consider the “under-employment” of workers who can only find part time employment or who are employed below their skill level.  Neither do they include “discouraged workers” who have been unemployed for so long they have given up looking for work.