New business filings in Colorado increased 32 percent this quarter compared to last quarter, according to the latest report analyzing Colorado Secretary of State data.

Over the 12 months ending March 31, a total of 120,870 new business filings were recorded, the Secretary of State’s office announced in a news release Thursday. In the first quarter, business entities in good standing reached 677,537 — a record for Colorado.

Addressing the 11th Veterans Small Business Conference Apr. 5, Secretary Wayne Williams said the total number of businesses in Colorado stands at “691,476 at the time of this note — and either the end of this month or the end of next month we will cross the 700,000 threshold.

“When you consider there’s only about 5½ million people in Colorado … one out of every 8 people own a business, and that’s something we strive to do,” he added. “We make it easy.”

Williams said he sees “a high level of business confidence as we go into the remainder of the year.”

“I am pleased to see Colorado’s economy begin 2018 in such a strong and stable position,” Williams said in today’s release. “We continue to see low unemployment, higher average wages and increasing numbers of new businesses forming in Colorado. I am very encouraged by this report and share in Colorado business leaders’ optimism for our second and third quarter.”

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 103,000 jobs were added nationally in March 2018, a slowdown from the prior two months. Colorado added approximately 63,400 jobs year-over-year, according to the release.

“Based on the filings and employment data, Colorado isn’t slowing quite as quickly as we initially believed,” Richard Wobbekind, executive director of the Business Research Division at the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder, said in the release.

The division publishes the Quarterly Business & Economic Indicators Report using data from the Secretary of State’s central business registry.

The report looks at a variety of factors, such as energy costs, the labor market and inflation. Through the end of 2017, GDP, employment, and wages all increased while the unemployment rate in December remained at 4.1 percent for the third consecutive month.