Colorado’s utterly unremarkable and insufficient job market recovery

Since the official end of the Great Recession in June 2009 Colorado has added 51,100 jobs. This is less than half of the 109,100 jobs lost during the recession, which officially began in December 2007.

In the following chart I use seasonally adjusted employment from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to show how the state’s job market has performed since the end of the 2001 recession. Over the 10+ years Colorado has added 101,200 jobs.

The previous expansion, which lasted 73 months, saw Colorado gain 160,900 jobs, about 2,200 per month. During the Great Recession, Colorado lost 6,060 jobs per month on average. Remarkably, the recession wiped out more than 2/3 of the job gains of a 6+ year expansion in only one and one half years.

The ongoing recovery has been one marked by fits and starts. There have been quite a few months with small job gains or even losses. Accordingly, the state has added only about 1,600 jobs per month since the recession ended. And I suspect that the spike we saw in January will be revised down.

The bottom line is that the current recovery is adding jobs at a slower monthly pace than the rather tepid performance of the mid 2000s, and well below what is needed to significantly improve the state’s ongoing unemployment  problems.

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1 Response to “Colorado’s utterly unremarkable and insufficient job market recovery”


  1. 1 Denver Unemployment Examiner April 25, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Thanks for this; it is obviously not good news, but comes as no surprise to the state’s long term unemployed.
    According the Colorado Center on Law & Policy, the state has a huge jobs shortfall:

    “Colorado’s jobs shortfall, or the difference between the number of jobs the state has and the number it needs to regain its pre-recession employment rate, is 205,900. That number includes the 59,700 jobs that Colorado lost plus the 146,200 jobs it needs to keep up with the 6.2 percent growth in population that the state has experienced since the recession began. (Figures 5-6) As the jobs shortfall shows, Colorado has not recovered from the Great Recession. As state and federal elected officials make policy choices to deal with budget shortfalls, putting Americans back to work needs to be their primary goal.”

    At this rate it will be several years before the state recovers and the long term unemployed find work. And yet, everyone wants people to believe things are just fine… Unbelievable.

    Denver Unemployment Examiner
    http://www.examiner.com/unemployment-in-denver/kelly-wiedemer


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