Colorado’s Economy Stays On A Strong Employment Hot Streak

Colorado added 1,500 jobs in August, and the unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percent to 2.9 percent, according to the newest numbers from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

The state's unemployment rate is still a full percentage point lower than the nationwide number of 3.9.

That ties Colorado with Minnesota for the eighth lowest unemployment rate in the nation for August, according to senior economist Ryan Gedney.

Colorado has had a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3 percent or below for 22 straight months.

"That is the fourth longest current streak in the nation, trailing only three other states: New Hampshire, Hawaii and North Dakota," Gedney said. "Colorado has quite a ways to go to challenge the all-time streak which belongs to Nebraska. The Cornhusker State went 12 years without their unemployment rate going above 3 percent. And that was basically the whole decade of the 90s."

The August report said the largest job gains were in the hospitality and construction industries. The largest losses were in were in financial activities and education and health services.

The number of people actively participating in the Colorado workforce increased by almost 6,000.

Colorado also reached a milestone in August, surpassing 3 million people employed in the state for the first time, according to the department's household survey. Average hourly wages also grew by more than 5 percent between August 2017 and August 2018.

"We have a high labor force participation rate and a high mixture of those professional high paying jobs which continue to grow," Gedney said. "So I think that's really adding to wage growth that is outpacing the other states in the nation as a whole."