Colorado’s employers added 5,200 jobs from December to January, helping to drop the unemployment rate to a level not seen in 15 years.
State economist Alexandra Hall says Colorado is growing in both high-wage sectors – like business and professional services – and lower-wage ones, like tourism.
"When you have jobs added in higher-earning sectors, that tends to increase demand in leisure and hospitality sectors," Hall said. "Those workers tend to have some money to spend."
And strong job gains have helped offset recent layoffs in the oil and gas sector.
"We certainly, I would say, are in the best place we can possibly be to continue to absorb those changes," Hall said.
Revised numbers put Colorado’s non-farm job growth rate last year at 3.1 percent, a full point higher than the national rate. This is the first time since the late 1990s that job growth has stayed above 3 percent for back-to-back years.
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