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Front Range Leading Colorado Job Growth In 2014

Colorado Dept. of Labor and Employment

As voters weigh economic issues ahead of the November election, Colorado’s job growth is continuing its steady upward trend. Economists with the Leeds School of Business at CU- Boulder say Colorado ranks fourth in the nation for employment growth.

The state added 14,600 jobs in September, marking the 35th consecutive month of job gains.

That growth puts Colorado ahead of most other states since the recession, said Leeds School economist Richard Wobbekind.

"Year over year, we’re up over 67,000 jobs, and again that will be up around the top five states in the country for that," Wobbekind said.

Although it isn’t the only factor, energy development is helping to fuel the growth, especially in Weld County. Wobbekind said the boom is one reason Colorado is one of only 19 states that have gained back all the jobs lost during the recession.

"Many of the states have an energy component to them. So it appears that energy is one of those things helping those states recover," Wobbekind said.

Northern Colorado is faring better than the state overall, with the strongest job growth recorded in the Greeley, Fort Collins-Loveland, Boulder, and Denver areas.

Weld County’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent, nearly 1 percent lower than the statewide rate of 4.7 percent for September. The nationwide unemployment rate also declined to 5.9 percent in the same month.

Wobbekind said the improving employment situation will eventually lead to increased workforce participation and higher wages, which haven’t kept pace with job growth over 2014.

As the host of KUNC’s new program and podcast In the NoCo, I work closely with our producers and reporters to bring context and diverse perspectives to the important issues of the day. Northern Colorado is such a diverse and growing region, brimming with history, culture, music, education, civic engagement, and amazing outdoor recreation. I love finding the stories and voices that reflect what makes NoCo such an extraordinary place to live.
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