Tracking the Economy
How in the world is it already May? With the turning of another page on the calendar comes another monthly update to the Economic Tracker. 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 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:
- Job posting activity continues to be very high with 2.8 postings per every unemployed person.
- From a regional industry perspective, the industries that have gained the most jobs (percentage wise) since Feb 2020 are transportation, other services, and retail trade. The industries that lost the most jobs are information, state education, mining (oil & gas).
- Mobility to the workplace is still lagging in comparison to retail/recreation destinations and mobility is more normalized in Weld County than Larimer County.
- Hospitality/leisure looks better than pre-pandemic levels in Estes Park and Longmont but worse in Fort Collins, Greeley, and Loveland. Overall, though, the trend is positive with a lot of month-to-month and seasonal variation. Employment in the sector shows general positive, though season, movement as well.
- Residential real estate and construction (building materials use tax) continues to be strong.
- The Local Area Unemployment Statistics that we get the unemployment rate and civilian labor force from were revised to reflect the 2020 Census counts so the numbers were revised, which is why there are differences in the data for these two statistics. The general takeaways on the trends stayed the same – unemployment is low but not as low as it was pre-pandemic. Civilian labor force is recovered.
- The Current Employment Statistics program at BLS (which is where we get nonfarm employment, employment by industry, and average hourly wages) just implemented a new estimation model and now the employment count is substantially different showing that Larimer County recovered to 2019 average employment levels in August 2021, but Weld is still recovering lost jobs.