Colorado added jobs in September, and experts say it’s complicating talk of a recession

Now Hiring Colorado
David Zalubowski/AP
A placard hangs in a window of a Target store, Thursday, May 26, 2022, in Thornton, Colo. Employers continue to struggle to find workers to keep their establishments open.

Colorado's unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in September, unchanged from August.

The state added 5,600 nonfarm jobs to its payrolls, according to Colorado’s labor department. The leisure and hospitality sector had the biggest gains, adding about 3,500 jobs. The only sector to lose jobs last month was the government.

The most recent readings on the job market for both the state and nationally have been solid despite concerns that the economy is headed for a rough patch. GDP, a key economic indicator, has contracted for two consecutive quarters, leading some experts to say the U.S. is technically in a recession, while stubborn inflation and higher interest rates bite into spending power.

But Ryan Gedney, a state economist for Colorado, says those concerns aren’t yet showing up in the job market.

“From a labor market perspective, there's zero indication of a recession in terms of either payroll jobs or the unemployment rate,” Gedney said during a conference call with reporters.

Colorado’s unemployment rate has been on a pretty steady decline since surpassing 11 percent at the start of the pandemic. That decline has largely stalled in the past few months, suggesting not as many jobs are being created. Gedney says the leveling off is to be expected after such rapid growth.

“I think we’ve moved out of the recovery phase of the pandemic and [are] now moving more into a normal kind of business cycle,” he said.