Retail hiring slowing in Colorado as inflation weighs on the economy

State added only 2,200 worker between June and July

Aldo Svaldi
Denver Post
Steven Senne, The Associated Press Retail employment has fallen for the past three months in Colorado. Inflationary pressures could be adding to the ongoing shift to online purchases that has hit brick and mortar locations.
Steven Senne/Associated Press

Colorado employers added 2,200 workers on a seasonally-adjusted basis between June and July, the smallest month-over-month change since 2020 and far below the increase expected given national job gains last month, according to a monthly update from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

“Given the number of U.S. jobs added earlier this month, I expected Colorado to post higher job growth in July. Most likely, the lack of qualified workers constrained job growth. That is not going to change in the months ahead,” said Gary Horvath, a Broomfield economist, in an email.

On the plus side, June job counts were revised to a gain of 7,800 rather than the original estimate of an increase to 4,500, evidence that hiring held up much better than initially thought. And the state’s unemployment rate fell from 3.4% in June to 3.3% in July, staying below the U.S. rate of 3.5%.

Colorado typically accounts for around 2% of U.S. job gains and based on the strong hiring in July nationally, the state should have added closer to 10,000 jobs rather than 2,200, said Ryan Gedney, a senior economist at the labor department. Hiring nationally went on an unexpected tear in July with 528,000 jobs created. In Colorado, the number of jobs added in July fell sharply from the number added in June.

“It is possible, but not a guarantee that we will see an upward revision,” Gedney said on a news call Friday morning, noting that leisure and hospitality, which reported only 700 jobs on the month, was a likely candidate for a big bump.


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.