Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams said business filings and renewals continue to increase, which means employment opportunities should also rise over the next six months.

“It’s exciting to have a record number of businesses registered in Colorado,” Williams said. “The economy in Colorado is strong and I’d say the state is positioned well with employment levels projected to increase into 2018.

“Historically, business filings tend to be a leading indicator of employment. When business filings go up, the employment numbers go up. More business, more jobs.”

Williams’ office recently released a report that shows business filings posted year-over-year growth in the third quarter of 2017. The report was prepared by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Business Research Division at the Leeds School of Business, using data from the Secretary of State’s business registry.

There were 28,373 new business filings recorded in the state during Q3, up 5.1 percent over the same period last year.

Existing business renewals increased to 127,228 during Q3 while entities in good standing totaled 656,144, an increase of 5.9 percent year-over-year and a new record for Colorado.

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“There are a number of factors that help produce those record numbers,” Williams said. “One is the overall strength of the economy. Another is that Coloradans are an independent bunch and we like to establish our own businesses. That’s important to a lot of people. Third, our office has tried to make that easier by making it easy to file online, whether that’s for a new business or a business renewal, by making it available 24/7.”

And the $10 business renewal fee is tied for lowest in the nation, he said.

Richard Wobbekind, executive director of the Business Research Division, did offer a word of caution in a press release that came from Williams’ office.

“While Colorado employment growth will continue to be positive and stronger than the nation, growth in 2018 will be more subdued than in 2017,” Wobbekind said. “The low unemployment rate, coupled with slow growth in the prime working-age population, will constrain potential growth.”

The report finds Colorado to be in fundamentally sound economic health. GDP, employment and wages all increased year-over-year and jobless claims decreased.

Residential construction should also finish the year strongly, the report said. As of August, residential building permits for 2017 had increased 19.6 percent year-over-year. Both single family and multi-family permits showed increases.

“Colorado isn’t completely immune to national trends but things are better in Colorado now than in other states,” Williams said. “Even during the downturn, Colorado was doing better than most.”

Colorado is experiencing a record unemployment rate of 2.4 percent, far below the national average of 4.2 percent for the period, the report noted.

“Those are all overwhelming numbers,” Williams said. “The bottom line is that it means business is good in the state of Colorado.”