Colorado ended 2022 with continued strong job growth and outperformed the nation in many areas, according to a report released Monday by the University of Colorado Boulder and Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold.
The Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators Report is prepared by CU Boulder’s Leeds Business Research Department (BRD) in collaboration with the Colorado Office of the Secretary of State. The latest report for the fourth quarter of 2022 shows that Colorado recorded 48,806 new entity filings, the largest quarter in the report’s history. The number of applications increased by 37.2% year-on-year and 11.8% month-on-month.
However, delinquencies and dissolutions also increased year-over-year. The number of dismissals in the fourth quarter was 13,293, a year-on-year increase of 17% and a quarter-on-quarter increase of 14.5%.
Existing renewals remained positive, growing 2.9% year-over-year (171,210 renewals) in Q4 and 4.5% quarter-over-quarter.
“Colorado continues our upward economic trajectory,” Secretary Griswold said. “With another year of job growth and continued employment growth, new business entity filings growing at a record pace and inflation falling faster than the national average, Colorado continues to lead in owning and operating businesses.”
The state’s inflation rate continues to improve, but remains high. In the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area, the November 2022 Consumer Price Index (CPI) will increase by 6.9% year-over-year, compared to 7.1% nationwide.
The state’s employment growth for December 2022 is up 3.7% (104,700 jobs) year-over-year, ranking eighth nationally. The largest annual increases came from the following industries: other services, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality.
The state’s resident employment (based on a survey of households that includes the self-employed) rose by 100,000 (3.3%) in December from a year earlier. Residential employment growth outpaced labor force growth (+74,000 year-on-year, or 2.3%) as the number of unemployed workers fell – creating a situation similar to a worker shortage.
“Businesses have been complaining about worker shortages for years,” said Rich Wobbekind, senior economist and BRD academic director. “What the current data is showing us is that while Colorado has the second highest labor force participation rate in the nation, employers are grabbing the majority of available workers. From an employer perspective, these current conditions are perpetuating a worker shortage .”
The state’s high labor force participation rate is holding down unemployment and pushing up wages. Colorado’s unemployment rate fell to 3.3% in December, below the national rate of 3.5%.
Colorado ranked seventh nationally in per capita personal income of $75,557, and ranked first in per capita personal income growth (7.9 percent) for the second consecutive quarter.
Colorado’s third-quarter real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 3.2 percent year-over-year, the sixth-best in the nation. National real GDP also grew by 3.2% in the third quarter.
Retail gasoline prices in the state continue to slide: Prices will begin to normalize in late 2022 after surging earlier this year, according to the Energy Information Administration. In January 2023, prices in the state were down $1.22 a gallon from their June peak, but prices in mid-January were up $0.92 a gallon from late December.
You can find monthly information on key economic statistics and trends affecting the state on the Colorado Business and Economic Indicators Dashboard, a joint initiative of the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office and BRD.