The unemployment rate in Denver dropped again in June, down from 5.8 percent at the beginning of May to 5.2 percent now. The numbers, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, reflect a trend in Denver that leads the rest of the nation. The national average currently stands at 6.1 percent, though it has also dropped quite a bit from its high a few years ago.
Denver is seeing boom times on the horizon, and a lot of it is due to its diverse economy. The sectors of the economy that saw the largest growth include education and health services, and leisure and hospitality. Only two sectors shrunk, information and “other services,” though the latter only lost 200 jobs. The legalization of marijuana has also created many jobs, though numbers are hard to come by this early in the program.
Colorado as a whole has seen growth across the state, with unemployment shrinking across the state as a whole from 5.8 percent at the beginning of May to 5.5 percent starting in June. Many groups are expecting the third quarter to be even stronger, with 26 percent of companies expecting to expand their labor force, the highest percentage since the economic downturn of 2008 began.
Denver itself has seen increases in other key industries, including professional and business services; trade, transportation and utilities, and government. The reopening of Union Station and the continued expansion of the light rail system should also help fuel growth across the metro area.
The real estate market has been booming as well, with rent skyrocketing in the metro area, and housing sales are seeing record numbers. In fact, the main problem the real estate market is seeing is a lack of inventory. Hundreds of thousands of people have moved to Colorado over the past two and a half decades, leading to some tension with native Coloradoans, but overall the growth has been good for the state from both an economic standpoint and a social one.
It’s a good time to be a Denverite, and it only looks to be getting better.