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For the second straight month, job growth indicates pace of recovery in Colorado slowing, according to numbers and analysis released Friday by the Common Sense Institute, a Denver-based business think tank.

"While September job levels are 48% lower than what is needed to see a full recovery by January 2023, there was an important milestone in the labor force data," Chris Brown, the institute's vice president of policy and research, said in an email. "Throughout the pandemic, women, and mothers in particular, have left the labor force at higher rates."

Brown noted, however, that Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers in September indicated the workforce participation rate for mothers surpassed pre-pandemic levels for the first time.

The labor force participation rate for mothers reached 76.5%, which is 0.27% higher than the January 2020 level.

"While the monthly data will remain volatile, this is an important signal that conditions are continuing to improve," Brown said.

Colorado added 5,100 total non-farm jobs in September. To recover to pre-pandemic employment levels by January 2023, however, Colorado needs to average an additional 9,884 jobs monthly, adjusting for population growth, according to the Common Sense Institute analysis.

The state's total employment level is down 78,400 jobs compared to before the pandemic, which ranks Colorado's recovery 17th in the country among states.

Idaho and Utah are the only states with more jobs and workers filling them than before the pandemic, with 12,600 and 48,000 additional filled jobs, respectively.

New York and Hawaii finished last, still down 8.9% and 13%, respectively.

Read the full Common Sense Institute analysis by clicking here.

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