Today, BLS released December unemployment and employment data for Colorado. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the state dropped to 3.5%. This is significantly lower than the U.S. rate of 5.0%.
Workers will benefit from lower unemployment rates, but lower rates are generally bad for businesses. In many cases companies are not able to fill critical positions. In turn they are forced to hire unqualified workers, pay overtime, or leave money on the table.
Nationally, 25 states posted declines in their December unemployment rates compared to November. There were increases in 14 states and no change in the rates for 11 states and the District of Columbia.
BLS reported lackluster nonfarm job growth in Colorado in December. This level of growth is in line with the pattern for U.S. seasonally adjusted nonfarm job growth. On a seasonally adjusted basis there were 10,700 more workers in December than November.
To that point, there was strong growth across the country. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 36 states and the District of Columbia and it decreased in 14 states.
Looking at U.S. job growth on a quarterly basis there was weak employment growth in Q3, but strong growth in Q4. Given this trend nationally, it stands to reason that Colorado is following that same pattern. The data is in line with the level of activity on the streets.
The data indicates that Colorado added about 20,000 jobs in Q4, after no job growth in Q3.
On March 14th BLS will release its employment benchmark data for 2015. That data will more accurately tell the story of 2015 nonfarm job growth in Colorado.