Colorado hits pandemic recovery milestone
Colorado's unemployment fell to 4.8% in December — the first dip below 5% since COVID arrived.
Why it matters: The decline marks a milestone in the state's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The jobless rate is now just shy of where it stood at the beginning of the pandemic, 4.7% in March 2020.
- Colorado has recovered about 89% of the jobs it lost since the start of COVID, state economists reported Friday.
Yes, but: The state's recovery still lags the nation with 154,300 people unemployed, and the rate remains far behind the state's pre-pandemic historic lows under 3%.
- The new data also comes with an asterisk because the state's employment surveys were done in early December, before a spike in the Omicron variant, the Denver Business Journal reports.
What they're saying: Gov. Jared Polis, who faces re-election in November, cheered the news, issuing a statement saying the "positive job growth sends a clear message that … Coloradans are moving forward."
By the numbers: The latest data showed a decline from the state's rate of 5.1% in November.
- Employers added 9,000 jobs and more people returned to the workforce, putting the participation rate at 69.4%, above the national 61.9%.
- The only industry that reported a decline in employment in 2021 was construction, which lost 1,000 jobs, the Denver Post reports.
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