Data, Data, Data

Your Fort Collins Area Chamber, working with other economic development and business support organizations across the region created a tool to track the economic recovery in Northern Colorado. This valuable resource is a set of indicators that represent critical aspects of the Larimer and Weld County economies, is based on data that is accessible in a useable format and is updated frequently with little lag time. The Economic Tracker lives on our one-stop hub NoCoRecovers.com and provides great insight into the impact of the pandemic and recession on Northern Colorado.

The most recent update to the Tracker includes the following insights from our Economic Analyst, Caroline Alexander:

  • The region has still not recovered all the jobs lost at the beginning of the Pandemic; at 279,300 jobs, it has about 3 percent fewer jobs than the 2019 average.
    • As is seasonally expected, job growth slowed in November after peaking in October. Usually, growth resumes in February so this will be a trend to watch.
    • The strongest sectors continue to be transportation/warehousing, wholesale trade, and professional services
    • Retail and hospitality have made great strides in their recovery but are not quite back to 2019 levels in Larimer County
    • Education and health services has recovered in Larimer County but not quite in Weld County
  • Improvement in the unemployment rate has tapered off. At less than 4.1% for the region, it is about at the level it was from 2014 to 2016 before the labor market became extremely tight.
  • The civilian labor force has recovered to its pre-Pandemic level in both counties.
  • Job posting activity leveled off in December. There are 1.7 job postings for every unemployed person.
  • Hourly earnings continue to climb in Larimer County, even as traditionally low-wage sectors like retail and hospitality continue to add jobs. In Weld County, hourly earnings have also begun to climb.
  • Sales tax receipts continue to be strong. Arts and recreation sales tax has recovered.
  • Hotel occupancy and RevPAR have reached their seasonal lows but overall continue to improve relative to 2019 levels.
  • With the end of the seasonal reservation system at RMNP, the number of visitors returned to a seasonally high level
  • Median home values continue to climb while construction activity/material purchases remain high
  • Commercial vacancy rates remain elevated, particularly office vacancy in Weld County and industrial vacancy in Larimer County. Only retail vacancy in Larimer County is better than it was in February 2020. The other commercial vacancy rates are 30 to 130 percent higher than their February 2020 levels.

Written by Ann Hutchison, President & CEO

January 11, 2022
For comments and questions about this blog, please email Ann at ahutchison@fcchamber.org.