By Makenzie O'Keefe

DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado could gain twice as many jobs this year as was predicted in December, but pre-pandemic employment levels won’t likely be seen until next year. That’s according to the ‘Colorado 2021 Midyear Economic Update’ released by CU Boulder’s Leeds School of Business.

For the past 56 years, the team works with 110 committee members to put together an annual economic forecast in December. Then mid-year, researchers work with the committee chairs to release an update.

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“We look at the data and have them comment on what went right and what went wrong compared to the forecasts that we released back in December, and then we do numerical update and a report around that,” explained Rich Wobbekind, the senior Economist and Associate Dean for Business & Government Relations at the University of Colorado Boulder Leeds Business School.

The 2021 mid-year report shows that our state has bounced back quicker than expected in many areas. Specifically, when it comes to job growth.

“We’ve seen continued growth across all industries, and in particular, the recovery of significant jobs in the industries that were hurt such as food services, hospitality, leisure sort-of-sector,” Wobbekind explained. “But now we’re also seeing recovery and things like entertainment and sports and those types of things. So some really big job losses that occurred are coming back pretty strong right now.”

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Wobbekind said when we look at Colorado’s recovery compared to the nation, things are shifting in a positive direction.

(credit: CBS)

“For the nation as a whole, we don’t think they’ll get back to the same level of jobs until the middle of next year or perhaps later,” he said. “But we think Colorado is poised to actually recover all of the jobs by the first part of 2022.”

The updated report show the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood MSA observed the highest year-over-year employment growth in July 2021 (6.2%), followed by Colorado Springs (4.7%), Boulder (4.4%), and Fort Collins-Loveland (4.2%).

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For a look at the entire update visit: https://www.colorado.edu/business/brd/news/2021/08/25/cbr-issue-3-2021

Makenzie O'Keefe