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Colorado's Growth, Employment Positive Heading Into 2014

Colorado Department of Labor and Employment
For Nov. 2013, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 4,200 over the month from October to November to 2,378,900 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 2,900 and government increased 1,300.

There’s good news for Colorado’s economy going into 2014, the latest economic forecast is projecting solid growth. The state’s employment rate also continues to grow faster than the nation’s.

“The economy is becoming a little more boring, but don’t take that the wrong way,” said Jason Schrock, an economist with the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting. “Saying the economy is more boring is a good thing. We all know what it’s like to live in interesting times.”

His definition of boring came as he briefed lawmakers on the joint budget committee Friday. It really just means the economy is becoming “stable, more durable.”

Economists, like Larson Silbaugh with the non-partisan Legislative Council, also say the country is becoming immune to the ongoing financial debates in Congress like the recent shutdown and budget ceiling talks.

“Businesses and households have been less responsive to the constant brinkmanship and fiscal deadlines,” said Silbaugh. “If the negotiations over the debt ceiling are tense and go down to the wire it won’t have much of an impact. If we breach the debt ceiling, that could have serious repercussions.”

Colorado is expected to add nearly 60,000 jobs next year. The quarterly revenue forecast says one reason Colorado’s economy is outperforming the country’s is because many of the state’s industries such as energy, bio-tech and agriculture are doing especially well.  

Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for KUNC and Rocky Mountain Community Radio since 2006. Originally, from Minnesota, Bente likes to hike and ski in her spare time. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May.
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