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April 26 - Business Filings, Renewals Grow as Colorado Job Recovery Surpasses Pre-Pandemic Levels

Denver, April 26, 2022 - Colorado’s job recovery took the state above pre-recession levels in February 2022 and growth continued into March 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 for the first quarter 2022 shows that Colorado added 389,400 jobs between May 2020 and March 2022, surpassing the 375,200 jobs lost between February and April 2020.

The Leisure and Hospitality industry, one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, showed the strongest year-over-year growth. Overall, the state added 131,200 jobs between March 2021 and March 2022 (4.9% growth).

New business filings decreased year-over-year, but increased seasonally in the first quarter, notching 43,780 new business filings. Business renewals continued to surge, increasing 15.3% in Q1.

“Like many Americans, Coloradans are experiencing high inflation and rising prices for goods and services. These are challenging times for working families making tough choices between filling up the tank, paying bills, and putting food on the table. And Colorado business owners must contend with the rising cost of operating expenses,” said Secretary Griswold. “The good news is that Colorado’s economy is in recovery mode. The state’s job recovery is above pre-recession levels, and our labor force participation rate ranked 3rd-highest in the nation in February. We must continue to do all we can to support Colorado’s small businesses and the working families that are they backbone of our economy and communities.”

The consumer price index (CPI) in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood region increased 9.1% year-over-year in March 2022, outpacing the nation (8.5%). Across the state, core inflation rose 8%, compared to 6.5% nationally.

“Colorado business leaders cited inflation as one of their top concerns in the latest business confidence index,” said Rich Wobbekind, senior economist and faculty director of the Leeds Business Research Division. “The Bureau of Labor Statistics assigns the greatest Consumer Price Index weights to housing (42.4%), transportation (18.2%), and food and beverages (14.3%)."

Home price growth in the state increased 18.2% year-over-year in Q4 2021––that pace is the 20th-fastest in the country. Monthly retail gasoline prices in Colorado increased 32.9% year-over-year in April, reaching $4.04 per gallon.

Colorado continues to outpace the nation in gross domestic product (GDP), employment, income and labor force. State GDP increased 6.3% year-over-year in Q4 2021 and per capita personal income was $69,113 in February.

Colorado’s labor force participation rate was 68.7% in February, 3rd-highest nationally, but the state’s 3.7% unemployment rate lags the national unemployment of 3.6% (March 2022).

The Colorado Secretary of State's Office, in conjunction with BRD, has launched the Colorado Business and Economic Indicator Dashboard that will provide monthly information on key economic statistics and trends that impact the state.