Fri April 18, 2014

Colorado Employment Continues Charting A Strong Course

In another sign of the state’s slow but sustained economic recovery, Colorado added 3,300 jobs in March.

Despite the increase, the new report [.pdf] from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment says unemployment rose slightly, from 6.1 percent to 6.2 percent.

“This is not uncommon when you see the economy strengthening,” says Alexandra Hall, the labor department’s chief economist. “People will at times move into the labor force in such large numbers that our job creation can’t keep up with that. So we saw a slight uptick in the unemployment rate, but it’s actually due to improving economic conditions.”

With total employment at more than 2.4 million jobs, Hall says Colorado has now surpassed the pre-recession peak from March 2008.

“We’ve also had the 29th consecutive month of payroll jobs gains in Colorado – so that’s over two years of month after month adding jobs in the state,” Hall says.

Jobs in construction, transportation and utilities, and other services were among the sectors seeing the most growth.

Some sectors, such as professional and business services, declined in March, but Hall points out that month-to-month movements aren’t as significant as long-term trends.

“Over the year our job leader continues to be professional and business services, which is a very important sector to the Colorado economy,” Hall says.

More than two-thirds of all states reported job gains in March. The nationwide unemployment rate is 6.7 percent.