Colorado employment at 1,898,478 declined slightly from last quarter losing 8,098 employees. Declines in first quarter are typical as Agriculture and Construction slow during the colder weather months and Retail Trade drops following the Christmas buying season. Government also experienced seasonal losses due to winter school break. Agriculture reported the largest drop in terms of percentages, down 12.4% losing 3058 employees. Construction reported the largest drop in employees down 7560. TCPU which usually rises in first quarter reported a drop of 145 employees due to cutbacks. FIRE had the largest gain in terms of percent up 2.4% adding 2812 employees. Gains in FIRE were greater than normal and influenced by SIC changes. Services added the largest number of new employees gaining 7834. Hiring for the ski season and tax season impacted employment in this industry. Mining employment was atypical gaining over last quarter due to a mine opening and increased oil and gas extraction activity.
Annually, Colorado employment rose 71,800 employees for a gain of 3.9%. Services continues to be the strongest industry in the State adding 29,598 employees. Outsourcing of computer related activities is the impetus for much of the expansion. The market place extravaganza occurring in Colorado pushed employment in Retail Trade up 11,163 from a year ago. By percent of growth, Construction reported the largest increase up 7.6%. Activity in the Construction industry has been fierce due to the continuing influx of residents and its demand on the housing market. Mining suffered the only annual employment loss dropping by 154 employees. Corporate downsizing and decreased activity in oil and gas extraction has hurt this industry.
One third of the employers covered by unemployment insurance are surveyed each year to determine that they are properly classified by : 1. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), a code that identifies the type of product or services produced by a business. 2. County, each business is assigned a three digit code according to the county in which it operates.
This year the survey was conducted for all business in the Services industry. SIC or county changes are made to first quarter data only, but the impact of those changes may be evident throughout the year, particularly when data are compared to the previous year. Virtually all industry groups are affected in some way since businesses may be moved out of a surveyed industry and into any industry for proper classification. The impact of change is determined by the overall change in employment and wages in each industry group.
Colorado Employment and Wages (ES202) First Quarter 1997