Due to the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the state government’s policy responses, Colorado’s unemployment levels spiked in early 2020 and caused the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to become deeply insolvent. Now, the Trust Fund is projected to remain insolvent until the 2024 fiscal year.
Colorado’s robust economy has added 391,300 jobs since April 2020, eclipsing the 374,500 jobs the state lost in March and April 2020. This represents a recovery rate of 104.5 percent which is 11.6 percentage points higher than the nationwide recovery rate of 92.9.
Inflation in the Denver metropolitan area continues to run hot, particularly for housing. Overall price levels increased 2% between January and March and 9.1% over the last 12 months. The BLS reports housing inflation of 7.9%, but home prices (not a component of CPI) have increased 20.8% YoY through January 2021.
In the coming years, mature and older workers will play an increasing role in Colorado’s workforce. Between 2010 and 2040, the category of Coloradan workers over the age of 54 is expected to grow from 1 in every 5 workers, to nearly 1 in every 4.
Colorado added 6,700 jobs in January and December jobs were revised upwards by 28,100. January non-farm employment rose to 2,813,500 which is just below that of January 2020’s 2,820,300. Though employment has nearly returned to the pre-pandemic level of January 2020, job growth needs to accelerate for employment to keep pace with population growth.
In 2021, inflation in the Denver metropolitan area was the highest it’s ever been since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking it in 1986. The largest two-month period of inflation occurred in late spring and a resurgence at the end of the year through January added an additional 2.6%.
Colorado added 9,000 jobs in December and November jobs were revised upwards by 5,000. The combined growth over the last two months of 2021 of 23,100 jobs presents a stark contrast to the prior year, when the two months combined for 25,500 job losses.
Due to the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the state government’s policy responses, Colorado’s unemployment levels spiked in early 2020 and caused the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to become deeply insolvent.
Despite concerns of rising inflation and a new COVID-19 variant, November job growth in Colorado remained relatively strong at 9,800 jobs. This is above the monthly average job growth needed to fully recover to a pre-pandemic employment-to-population ratio by 2023.