Colorado Filling Jobs Despite Lack of Available Employees

“Steady as she goes” — that’s how economists are describing Colorado’s employment situation.

The unemployment rate was unchanged from January to February at 3 percent, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The number of people entering the labor force increased by 7,600 people, and the number of people reporting themselves employed increased by 7,800.

The Centennial State ranked fifth in the nation for job growth, easing some concerns that the low unemployment rate would hurt hiring. Employers have feared that there would not be enough available workers to fill new jobs, but this data suggests that workers continue to move to here to fill positions.

Employers are also forced to raise wages to attract qualified talent from a small pool. Wages are up for the eighth straight month, with the average hourly wage at $28.32, up from $27.44.

Job gains have been broad based. Still, the construction industry remains red hot, adding 11,000 jobs compared to February of last year. Leisure and hospitality, which is another standout for job creation has slowed a bit recently. Economists at the state say the dry conditions in the ski resorts may be a contributing factor.