Op-ed by Loren Furman and Rachel Beck for Colorado Politics
When it comes to an economic recovery from the pandemic, recent data has shed light on where Colorado stands compared to other states — and it doesn’t look good.
While neighboring states have regained nearly all of the jobs lost last year, Colorado’s unemployment rate is worse than nearly every other state in the nation. In the shocking new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Colorado has the fourth-highest unemployment rate after Hawaii, California and Nevada. The massive job losses can be attributed to closures in the food service and hospitality sectors, causing a spike in unemployment to 8.4%. Forecasts show our employment rates will not rebound quickly.
Hundreds of thousands of Coloradans are out of work, many business owners are struggling to make payroll, and local communities may never look the same as longstanding businesses have been forced to permanently close their doors.
It’s hard to deny that we’re facing one of the worst economies in our state’s history, but it doesn’t have to be this way. The actions we take now will determine our outlook for recovery moving forward. And while Colorado’s stringent COVID-19 regulations have been tough on the business community, we also can’t overlook the impact other recent policies have had on employers.