Denver skyline

While Colorado's economy is making a powerful comeback, it may not be powerful enough.

A report by The Denver Post found a revised economic forecast from Leeds Business Research Division at the University of Colorado-Boulder showed this economic comeback will not be strong enough to restore the jobs lost in March and April by the end of 2020. 

The Post reports that in December the annual Colorado Business Economic Outlook predicted the state would add 40,100 non-farm jobs in 2020. This is the slowest pace of gains since 2011. Estimating groups and almost everyone else didn’t foresee the pandemic, however.

The mid-year update now predicts a loss of 128,500 nonfarm jobs in Colorado, marking a decline of 4.6%. However, the state shed 342,000 in March and April and has gained 126,000 back in May and June.

“We think the recovery in the coming months will be slower than what we observed in May and June, the initial snapback from closed to open,” Brian Lewandowski, executive director of the Leeds Business Research Division, told The Post. Rather than a V-shaped recovery he thinks Colorado is tracking a U-shaped recovery.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, leisure and hospitality workers have faced the worst job losses. Employment in this field ending the year declined 22.3%, equivalent to around three out of five jobs the state is expected to lose. 

Professional and business services, The Post reports, is expected to fare the best through this, with a job decline of only 0.2%

This recession has hit metro areas around the state at differing levels. Grand Junction has seen the smallest annual job loss, with only a 2.2% decline, and Denver has seen a much higher decrease of 6.7%, according to the revised CBEO.

An earlier report by the Leeds division the previous week noted that optimism among business owners was starting to look up, although it was still negative overall.

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