What’s Working: Colorado added simply 300 jobs in December, as unemployment fee rose to three.4%


Don’t take a look at Colorado’s newest jobs report until you wish to be depressed, however know it might solely be for a couple of months. The December numbers, launched Friday, have the state’s unemployment fee on the rise, to three.4%. Employers added simply 300 jobs final month.

In the identical report, November information was revised downward. Nonfarm jobs declined 2,500 as an alternative of a lack of 700, whereas non-public sector jobs declined by 5,200, as an alternative of two,100.

“That represents the biggest over-the-month lower in non-public jobs for Colorado since December 2020 when 21,700 jobs have been shed resulting from pandemic-related enterprise restrictions,” stated Ryan Gedney, senior economist with the Colorado Division of Labor and Employment.

Preliminary information on job progress in Colorado had extra months experiencing job declines than progress in 2023. However the numbers are anticipated to be revised as higher information is available in, based on a state labor economist. (Supplied by Colorado Division of Labor and Employment)

However even these numbers might be revised within the close to future. Gedney believes there was extra job progress than the present information exhibits. That’s as a result of the month-to-month information relies on pattern sizes and estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The extra thorough Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, an effort between native and federal places of work, will present extra concrete updates in March, he added.

“That’s truly coming from our unemployment insurance coverage program the place employers each quarter are required to report what number of staff you’ve gotten … what’s your wages and issues of that nature,” Gedney stated. “We began publishing (revisions) in 2013 when the state and the nation have been popping out of the Nice Recession. There was quite a lot of volatility within the estimates. We’re not required to publish it however the CDLE thought it was essential for any stakeholders to know and take a look at this data.”

In November, for instance, CDLE stated June 2023 job numbers are actually anticipated to be revised upward by 40,900 jobs, which incorporates 15,800 extra jobs in commerce, transportation and utilities than the month-to-month report had indicated. And in 2022, each month’s unemployment fee in Colorado was revised as employers reported extra jobs have been added than estimated by the feds.

“We totally count on excessive upward revisions,” Gedney stated.

He’s not the one economist shrugging their shoulders at federal information. “The BLS information has been so unhealthy this yr, that the month-to-month reviews have restricted worth,” stated Gary Horvath, an economist at Cber.co in Broomfield.

That stated, unemployment has been on the rise in Colorado, with the finance {and professional}/enterprise providers industries persevering with to see among the largest job declines in December. That’s in regards to the time when Dish Community stated it could lay off almost 500 staff in Douglas County whereas Broadcom deliberate 184 job cuts in Broomfield. Elsewhere, quite a few tech corporations nationwide additionally introduced layoffs.

The intense spot in 2023 was authorities hiring, which incorporates lecturers. The sector added 2,000 jobs in December and 23,000 jobs for the yr. In distinction, the worst-hit sector of finance and insurance coverage misplaced 7,400 jobs in 2023, resulting from high-interest charges that made it extra pricey for shoppers to tackle a mortgage or purchase a home. However the authorities is completely different. Gedney stated the federal government sector took a very long time to get better from the pandemic and powerful hiring might be because of the final of the federal COVID aid offered to native governments.

Colorado’s unemployment fee elevated to three.4% in December, up from 3.3% in November. A yr in the past, it was 2.8%. By comparability, the U.S. unemployment fee was 3.7%.

Extra on Colorado unemployment

➔ Pueblo County had the best metro-area unemployment fee in December, at 4.5%, which was not seasonally adjusted. Boulder and Fort Collins had the bottom, at 2.8%. Huerfano County had the best by county, at 5.6%, whereas Package Carson County was the bottom at 1.6%. Colorado’s not-seasonally adjusted fee was 3.2%. >> See all counties

➔ New jobless claims doubled in December. Roughly 30,936 folks filed for unemployment for the primary time in December, up from 14,226 in November, based on state job information. Not all might get accepted. Additionally in December, the variety of folks nonetheless receiving unemployment advantages rose 2.9% from November to 123,131. A yr earlier, there have been 96,469 making a continued declare (not their first).

➔ Colorado has 2nd highest fee of open jobs. Most states didn’t see an enormous improve within the fee of job openings for November, the newest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Abstract, however Colorado did and was certainly one of two states famous for the rise. Colorado additionally ranked second nationwide for the biggest fee improve in job openings, or 232,000 openings in contrast with 211,000 in October. That maintains Colorado’s ratio of two job openings for each unemployed employee (107,860 in November and 109,600 in December). However JOLTS additionally ranked the state as seventh highest for layoffs. >> Report


WW reader ballot: 2024

Within the newest What’s Working reader ballot, most respondents stated that their monetary state going into 2024 is “higher” than or the “identical” because the previous two years. Trying on the information that’s now rolling in for 2023, there’s purpose for that sentiment.

Costs didn’t go down in 2023, particularly within the Denver space, they only slowed. If the Federal Reserve does decrease rates of interest this yr — and people in cost stated they may think about it — that’s an indication that inflation has stabilized.

Denver’s annual inflation fee rose to five.2% final yr, which was decrease than the 8% in 2022. Space shoppers, nevertheless, noticed costs rise quicker than the nation, with an annual inflation fee of 4.1% for the yr however 3.4% for December. The Bureau of Labor Statistics skips December for Denver and doesn’t formally measure Colorado’s fee.

Some employees, although extra on the lower-end of the pay scale, did see wage will increase up to now two years that have been increased than inflation. However most households spent the previous two years readjusting their spending habits to make do. “Street journeys and free leisure (e.g., rec facilities and library!),” wrote Christine Hamilton-Pennell, who lives in Denver and is feeling “priced out.”

Whereas the reader ballot had many people feeling they’re higher financially than up to now two years, almost half felt the grocery retailer was the place they seen inflation essentially the most.

Jeannie Lira retailers for groceries Aug. 4, 2023, at a King Soopers in Denver. (Olivia Solar, The Colorado Solar by way of Report for America)

“Groceries,” wrote Mary Clark, in HIghlands Ranch, “as a result of I’m reminded of the rising expense weekly. Not way back, King Soopers had apples for $1/apple! Onerous to consider.”

Greater costs to eat out, eat in and simply meals typically had one individual chime in with, “Value of meals nowadays actually bites.”

One rationalization got here from a small enterprise proprietor in Grand Junction who wrote, “I spent all of 2022 and 2023 scrambling madly to boost my crew’s wages. I’m comfortable to say that I did it, though I’m unhappy to say the common breakfast ticket rose from $13.10 to $16.80. So, the price of housing shortage is being paid for by everybody twice: as soon as in tax {dollars} for assist, a second time in elevated prices for all the things else.”

One thing to consider: BLS, which measures how meals, housing and different costs change every month for shoppers, estimates that households spend 13.4% of their month-to-month price range on meals. Of that, 8.6% is for groceries and meals eaten at residence, and 4.9% is consuming out. Within the Denver space, meals is 12.6% of month-to-month bills however BLS doesn’t break it down additional.

Housing, in the meantime, takes a a lot bigger chunk so in the event you’ve owned your house for a couple of years, that value most likely hasn’t gone up considerably. We’ll discover how housing did in subsequent week’s What’s Working.

There’s nonetheless time to take the ballot at cosun.co/WW2023

Comcast Corp., has obtained a number of job-growth incentives from Colorado’s financial improvement workplace. However an $8.1 million award in 2016 to rent employees for a name middle in Fort Collins by no means reached its objective and the corporate closed the power in 2019 and by no means claimed the credit score. (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Solar)

➔ What occurred to $1.45 billion in Colorado enterprise incentives? That’s how a lot has been accepted in about 14 years of the state’s Job Progress Incentive Tax Credit score. However a glance into who cashed in exhibits this system had only a few takers, nearly 5%. Not less than thus far. >> Learn

➔ Mountain communities noticed drop in actual property quantity, however not costs. The common worth for a single-family residence in Steamboat was $1.73 million in 2023. In Aspen, a Florida automobile dealership proprietor set a report by paying $76 million, Jason Blevins reported. >> Learn

➔ Rural Colorado will get $113.5 million to construct broadband. The cash is from the Capital Packages Fund from the federal authorities. With it, Colorado broadband officers awarded grants that’ll get fiber web service to Avondale, Pagosa Springs, Buena Vista and different rural communities in two years. >> Learn

➔ Excessive value of pets and well being care: The Colorado Solar’s ongoing sequence of the excessive value of dwelling in Colorado is again with two new tales on the escalating prices of getting a pet or insuring one’s well being have develop into. Plus, in the event you missed the free Solar occasion on the subject, it’s now on-line to view:


An ABM shuttle arrives at a shuttle cease within the Airside Worker Parking zone as a United Airways jet taxis at Denver Worldwide Airport, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023, in Denver. (Jeremy Sparig, Particular to The Colorado Solar)

➔ Denver airport: Much less automobile theft, extra meals choices. Within the latter a part of 2023, Denver Worldwide Airport put in extra safety cameras at parking heaps, added concrete boundaries to cease potential thieves from gate crashing and elevated officers at heaps to cut back the variety of auto thefts. It helped, no less than for the final two months of 2023, when November automobile thefts fell to 11, from 63 in October. December had 10, based on a information launch. The District Lawyer’s Workplace stated it broke up a car-theft ring earlier within the yr however that wasn’t the one one. The airport was referred to as out in a July report by CBS Information on the rise of auto thefts, whereas 9News earlier reported on the large improve in catalytic converter thefts at DIA.

➔ Debt collector settles with Colorado, pays $500,000 for client refunds. Colorado Lawyer Normal Phil Weiser went after TrueAccord, a debt collector that tried to gather overdue loans from 28,728 Coloradans. However the loans have been from unlicensed lenders related to federally acknowledged Native American tribes. A lot of the mortgage agreements had finance prices that “exceeded 500% APR and a few approached 900% APR.” Colorado’s cap on finance prices is 12% however TrueAccord is alleged to have “used false, misleading, or deceptive representations” to gather the debt. TrueAccord agreed to pay $500,000 to the state for use for client refunds. >> View stipulation order


Thanks for sticking with me for this week’s report. Bear in mind to take a look at The Solar’s day by day protection on-line. As at all times, share your 2 cents on how the financial system is protecting you down or serving to you up at cosun.co/heyww. ~ tamara


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What’s Working is a Colorado Solar column about surviving in right now’s financial system. E mail [email protected] with tales, suggestions or questions. Learn the archive, ask a query at cosun.co/heyww and don’t miss the following one by signing up at coloradosun.com/getww.

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