Colorado’s Unemployment Rate Significantly Below National Average

Governor Bill Ritter is responsible for what happens in Colorado, and he can’t blame Colorado’s problems on the national economy–we read that in today’s Denver Post article quoting GOP candidate Scott McInnis, an article with a few important points worth dissecting.

Starting with “bad management.”

The above chart, released by the Senate Majority Press office, shows how Colorado’s unemployment rate has declined continuously from its peak at the end of June–now at 6.9%, substantially below the national average.

6.9% isn’t full employment, of course, and a lot of people in Colorado are suffering in the current recession. It makes sense politically to tie as much of that pain to incumbents as you can–but voters aren’t stupid, and they’re not going to pour their rage over a global economic crisis into the vessel of Bill Ritter without some context. Especially not when the numbers show, by at least one crucial yardstick, that Ritter’s handling the state’s economy as well as anybody could.

Ultimately, whether or not attacks on Ritter over the economy have any weight–or even backfire on the attackers–will depend on how the economy in Colorado looks next summer. Ritter only has partial control over that in good times and bad, of course, but McInnis will try to stick Ritter with the blame if the situation gets worse–or deny him credit if it continues to improve.

In this case, it would have been better for McInnis to have held his fire for some actual bad news–but he couldn’t really do that yesterday, could he?

11 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Danny the Red (hair) says:

    I’m guessing that unemployment will be around 6% in Colorado next summer.  Which will be enough to have people feeling better.

    The national picture will remain bleak (maybe 8.5%-9%), even if Colorado only gets down  to 6.5% or less, we will look good relatively.  High unemployment comes down fast moderate unemployment is naggingly slow.

    However, the national news media will keep telling people how bad things are even if they are actually doing pretty good in Colorado–I’m not sure what the impact of this will be: Will people feel afraid because the national press is telling them to be afraid or will they say Colorado is doing pretty well.

  2. ClubTwitty says:

    through ignoring environmental costs, lavishing subsidies, and bestowing other government favors then…

    Oh wait–resource dependent and unbalanced economies based on notoriously volatile commodities actually weaken the ability to bounce back from hard economic times…who knew?

    The local unemployment rate doubled from October 2008 to October 2009, going from 4.2 percent to 8.4 percent. The Grand Junction metropolitan area, which includes all of Mesa County, had the highest unemployment rate of any metropolitan area in the state. Colorado’s unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 6.9 percent in October.

    A troubled regional housing market recorded a 213 percent spike in foreclosure sales as homeowners continued to abandon their properties in record fashion.

    The Colorado Division of Housing reported foreclosure sales in Mesa County increased to 100 in the three months ending Sept. 30. That was up from 32 sales in the same three months of 2008.

    The most recent percentage increase was the highest in the state for metropolitan counties.

    If McInnis, Maes, Penry et al really wanted to improve Colorado’s prospects, they would pursue a diverse economy rather than favoring volatile resource markets; if they want to ride a wave of anger to the Gubernatorial mansion, however, they might throw the economy under the bus to rise to power.  And that, friends, is GOP ‘leadership.’

  3. DavidThi808 says:

    You still have companies with wage reductions and reduced hours. You still have people fearful about their jobs. You still have as Danny mentioned above, the news about the country as a whole.

    6% unemployment is ok if… 1) People are at full hours & pay, 2) Companies are announcing raises, and 3) The national news shows improvement.

    As to right now, Ritter & Co. need to get the above info out to everyone in Colorado.

    • Danny the Red (hair) says:

      As you come out of the slump the first workers to benefit are the high performing employees that employers desperately wanted to keep even when it cost them money.

      Wages (& productivity) spike as employers meet increasing demand with the same number of workers.  Once they’ve tapped out the productive capability of their work force, then they start adding personnel.    

  4. Arvadonian says:

    as to why McInnis keeps talking about Texas as being some sort of promised land economically when their unemployment rate is signigifantly higher than ours.

    11 COLORADO 6.9

    21 TEXAS    8.3

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