Colorado’s business entity filings and job growth are on the rise, according to the latest Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators report released May 1 by Secretary of State Jena Griswold.

During the first quarter of 2019, 35,838 new business entities were filed with the Secretary of State’s office, contributing to a 5 percent increase during the past 12 months.

There were 159,746 business renewals, which is more than a 7.6 percent increase over the prior year. There are more than 718,000 Colorado businesses in good standing, a record for Colorado.

The Business Research Division at the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business compiles the 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.

“I am encouraged by the gains in existing entity renewals and continued gains in new business formations, which have led to a record number of Colorado businesses in good standing,” Griswold said. “This indicates that the business environment in Colorado remains stable, and we are well-positioned to maintain our status as one of the leading state economies nationally.”

From March 2018 to March 2019, Colorado added 44,800 jobs. Employment growth is projected to continue over the next two quarters of this year. The largest numbers of jobs were added in the Professional and Business Services industry and in Education and Health Services.

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Data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that Colorado personal income increased by 1.5 percent, totaling nearly $331 billion.

“Annual growth in filings aligns well with the overall growth we continue to see in the Colorado economy,” said Richard Wobbekind, executive director of the Business Research Division at University of Colorado Leeds School of Business. “As well, the slowing growth of new filings registered in Q1 is consistent with other slowing economic variables.”

Last quarter, business leaders expressed confidence looking ahead two quarters. That optimism increased slightly after the growth in business entity filings, renewals and employment over the first quarter of 2019.

U.S. GDP grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.2 percent in Q4 2018, according to the third estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This is a slowdown from the 4.2 percent growth recorded in Q2 and 3.4 percent annualized rate recorded in Q3, as well as a slower pace compared with the same quarter a year ago

According to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 196,000 jobs were added nationally in March 2019 — an improvement from the 33,000 jobs added in February and higher than the 180,000 average job growth recorded over the last three months. This compares to average job growth of 223,000 per month in 2018 and 179,000 per month in 2017.

The national unemployment rate declined year-over-year and over the quarter, resting at 3.8 percent in March. The Colorado unemployment rate, at 3.5 percent, recorded an increase over last March, but declined slightly from December. The annual increase is due in part to growth in the labor force outpacing growth in employment.

In addition to the low unemployment rate, jobless claims also indicate a healthy labor market. Initial claims nationally and in Colorado decreased over the quarter and year-over-year in March. Continuing claims fell over the quarter and year-over-year.

Based on data from the BLS, year-over-year total wages and wages per employee for the 12 months ending in Q3 increased 6.2 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively, in Colorado, compared with 5.2 percent and 3.6 percent nationally.

Colorado average wages totaled $58,326 compared with $56,799 nationally.

The full report is available here and previous reports can be found here.