The third quarter results are out from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, which covers the tenth district and includes Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming. And the news is overall very good.
El Paso County’s unemployment rate is the 20th best in the state with a 4 percent U-3 rate, which includes people who have looked for work in the past four weeks. Douglas and Boulder counties have 2.8 percent unemployment, while Denver’s is 3.3 percent and Larimer County — which includes Fort Collins — is at 3 percent. Baca County has a 2.1 percent unemployment rate, the state’s lowest. And Huerfano County has the highest rate at 7 percent. Pueblo County’s rate is at 5.1 percent.
The top six industries: construction, educational services, leisure and hospitality, health care and social assistance, information. The industries with the biggest growth rates are construction, up 6.4 percent in the state; manufacturing, up 5.4 percent in the state; retail trade, up 10.3 percent; healthcare, increased by 11 percent; local government, up by 9.7 percent; and transportation and warehousing, up 2.8 percent in Colorado.
“In Colorado, the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in October, and total payroll employment grew 2.5 percent compared to the previous year,” the Fed’s databook for Colorado said. “Employment growth was broad-based across industries, with the strongest gains in the construction and private educational sectors. Colorado nominal personal income grew 3 percent in the second quarter of 2016 compared to the previous year, with workplace earnings up 3 percent. Home prices increased 10.2 percent in the second quarter of 2016 compared to a year ago, while single-family and multifamily permits recorded a 8.5 and 29 percent change, respectively, so far this year.”
The oil industry throughout the state took a big hit, according to information from the Federal Reserve, and so did exports.
“In August 2016, crude oil production was down 9.6 percent over last year, and rig counts were well below year-ago levels,” the databook summary said. “Colorado exports were 7.8 percent lower in the third quarter of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.”
Figures show that wages are higher in Colorado than the rest of the nation, with average wages in Colorado at $27.27 an hour. Average wages in the United States are $25.92 an hour. Wages increased .3 percent in the United States last month, and 1.6 percent in Colorado. Last year, wages dropped .9 percent in Colorado.
And El Paso County ranks second only behind Denver for permits pulled for single- and multifamily homes. In the county, roughly 4,000 permits have been filed. In Denver, that number is closer to 5,000.
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