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Colorado sees year of fastest growth in the state’s labor force since 1998

Posted on: Feb 8 18

by: admin

Colorado employers added 5,100 non-farm jobs to their payrolls in December, a sizable jump from the previous month when employers added 1,800 jobs. This means more jobs in Broomfield.

December ended with a record year for the number of Coloradans in the labor force.

But despite the jobs added in December, the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 3.1 percent from the previous month when it was 2.9 percent, according to the latest data from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

The monthly gain of 5,100 non-farm payroll jobs was higher than the state’s 12-month average gain of 3,817 jobs, according to the CDLE data. And the gains were higher than the previous four months when the average gain was 4,800 jobs, which had been the best four-month average since 2016, said Ryan Gedney, the state’s senior economist.

Breaking down the numbers, the private sector added 4,300 jobs in December and the government increased by 800 jobs.

The biggest job gains in December from the previous month were in construction, education and health services. The construction industry, for example, added 3,300 jobs in December and 10,000 since August. All of the jobs add up to a 2 percent job growth rate and Colorado outpacing the U.S. job growth rate — which it has done for the past seven years — of 1.4 percent.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 53,200, with an increase of 52,400 in the private sector and an increase of 800 in government. The largest private-sector job gains over the year were in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality and construction.

The statewide jobless rate of 3.1 percent is an increase over the previous month and a jump over the three straight months — April through June — when the unemployment rate was 2.3 percent, a four-decade low dating back to when the state began record-keeping in 1976.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is up one-10 of a percentage point from 3 percent.

The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 141,700, the largest over-the-year increase in the history of the series and fastest rate of growth since 1998. Total employment increased 134,900, also the fastest rate of growth since 1998. The number of unemployed increased 6,800. Nationally, the unemployment rate declined from 4.7 percent in December 2016 to 4.1 percent in December 2017.

Over the year, the average workweek for all Colorado employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from 33.1 to 33.2 hours, and average hourly earnings increased from $26.93 to $28.09.The largest over-the-month private sector job gains were in construction and education and health services.

Source: By Monica Mendoza – Reporter, Denver Business Journal Jan 23, 2018, 10:14am MST

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