Colorado unemployment rate hits lowest number since pre-COVID

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Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 8:46 AM MDT|Updated: Mar. 14, 2023 at 8:52 AM MDT
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DENVER (KKTV) - Unemployment levels in Colorado have dropped to numbers not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the ninth-straight month, Colorado’s unemployment rate has sat under 3 percent. As of January, the most recent month available, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) says, the state is currently enjoying one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at 2.8 percent. The last time Colorado’s unemployment rate was that low, “COVID” and “coronavirus” were not yet common vocabulary terms.

The state’s unemployment rate is below the national average of 3.4 percent.

“With Colorado’s unemployment rate dropping below 3 percent, it is clear that Colorado is the best place to live, work, and do business. More entrepreneurs are starting businesses in our state and we are outcompeting other states for businesses and jobs,” said Gov. Jared Polis. “As we continue to grow our strong economy, I am committed to saving people money, cutting red tape, and expanding opportunities to help support our workforce.”

Additionally, Colorado’s labor force participation rate has bounced back close to what it was pre-pandemic. CDLE says January’s participation rate was 68.1, versus 68.6 pre-COVID. Its labor force participation rate was the fourth-highest in the country last year. To compare, the national labor force participation rate was 62.4 in January.

Since May of 2020, Colorado has added over 430,000 non-farm payroll jobs, exceeding the 375,000 jobs lost in March and April of that year. That puts Colorado’s recover rate at just over 116 percent, four points higher than the national recovery rate.

More on the Department of Labor’s data can be viewed here.