Colorado Economy Continues Slow Recovery
DENVER, Colo–The Colorado economy continues to notch improvements in job growth, gross domestic product (GDP) and existing entity renewals, but new entity filings fell in the third quarter 2021 according to a report released today by the University of Colorado Boulder and Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold.
The Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators report is prepared by the Leeds Business Research Division (BRD) at CU Boulder in conjunction with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. The latest report shows that Colorado added 102,100 jobs between September 2020 and September 2021 (3.9% growth), and the state’s unemployment rate improved to 5.6%.
The state recorded 38,211 new business filings in the third quarter, down 2.7% from the previous quarter. Business renewals increased 4.7% in Q3, with 162,260 filings.
“While our economy continues its recovery with gains in GDP and job growth, too many Coloradans are still struggling to afford housing, childcare, healthcare and monthly bills,” said Secretary Griswold. “While the signs of recovery are encouraging, we still have a long road ahead until the recovery is felt by all Coloradans.”
Colorado’s GDP ranks above average, increasing 11.8% between the Q2 2020 and Q2 2021, returning the state to pre-pandemic levels.
Prices are impacting consumers
The national GDP slowed to an annual rate of 2% in the third quarter 2021, and prices increased sharply.
In Colorado, home price growth increased 13.8% from the second quarter 2020 to the second quarter 2021. That pace is the 12th-fastest in the country.
Retail gasoline prices also increased 58% year-over-year. The average cost per gallon in Colorado on October 25, 2021 was $3.64.
“Businesses have expressed concern about the impacts of increased inflation, as well as supply chain constraints at a time when consumer demand for goods and services is increasing,” said Rich Wobbekind, senior economist and faculty director of the Leeds Business Research Division. “COVID-19 variants and worker shortages also remain a concern.”
Colorado’s unemployment rate remains higher than the national average at 5.6%. Yet, the state’s labor force participation rate ranks 4th in the country at 68.2%.
Business leaders have tempered their optimism ahead of the fourth quarter 2021, but still have expressed confidence in the economy as Colorado continues to rebound from the pandemic.