To better support Northern Colorado Prospers (NCP) strategic initiatives, we are pleased to announce NCP is now a member of the Common Sense Institute (CSI), a non-partisan research organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of Colorado’s economy.
With this membership, we have first access to CSI research, articles, insights and discussions surrounding the business community, with topics including fiscal impacts of policies, initiatives, and proposed laws.
The most recent report: “Colorado’s Labor Force & Jobs Report COVID-19” was distributed to members.
Here are some key findings:
Colorado Labor Force
- The Colorado labor force participation rate (LFPR) was 67.5% in November. This rate was 2 percentage points below the February level of 69.4%, indicating approximately 90,000 fewer people in the Colorado labor force.
- The labor force participation rates for both men and women above the age of 35 were lower in November than in February, whereas the labor force participation rates for men and women below 35 were above February levels.
- As of November 2020, the LFPR for women with kids was 8.6 percentage points below the LFPR in February of 79%. This was just .4 percentage points higher than the 2020 low-point in October. This means that just over 1 in every 10 mothers who was in the labor force before the pandemic, was no longer actively participating in the labor force in November. The LFPR for men with or without kids was less than 2 percentage points below its February level and women without kids was up 3 percentage points.
Colorado Unemployment Rate
- The Colorado unemployment (UE) rate remained at 6.4%, virtually unchanged since September. It remained flat as both the number of jobs and the size of the labor force declined at a similar rate. It peaked at 12.2% in April, 9.7 percentage points above the February rate of 2.5%.
- Through the worst economic shocks in March, April and May, the gap in UE rates between those above and below age 35 increased, indicating large employment losses by younger workers. While the gap in UE rates between the two groups shrank through September and October, the November data indicates the gap may be widening again.
- The decline in employment from October to November seemed to disproportionately impact those with a bachelor’s degree and higher. This group’s UE rate jumped significantly from 4.3% in October to 6.4% in November, while other groups remained more constant or even declined.
Economic Health of Colorado
- While the November labor force and jobs reports indicate early signs of a declining economy, the weekly unemployment insurance claims show the economic health of Colorado worsening through the holidays. Regular continued unemployment insurance claims fell from the peak in May of 265,000 to 79,000 during the week of November 21st. However, total continued claims increased to 280,000 as of the week of December 19th, and initial claims climbed from 7,000 weekly claims during week of October 24th to 44,000 initial claims during the week of Christmas.
- The November women’s average monthly wage (AMW) was $1,063, up $84 from October. Despite this growth, the gap between the male and female AMW dropped 14% as the AMW for men increased to $1,706, up $434 from October.
- November was the first month since April to see a decline in the total number of jobs. Private sector employment declined by 6,000 jobs in November, as the leisure and hospitality industry continued to be the most impacted sector.
Last week, CSI also released the latest report “Colorado’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Status.”
We will continue to share these reports and other resources when they become available and are relevant to businesses in Northern Colorado.