Saturday, December 18, 2010


Gov. Bill Ritter said he is encouraged by today’s job numbers and believes there is much reason for optimism about the state’s economic recovery heading into the new year. Colorado employers added 3,800 jobs in November – marking three consecutive months of jobs gains for the first time in three years – the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment reported this morning.

“The primary indicator for any state of economic recovery is job growth, and for the first time in three years, we have experienced three straight months of job growth here in Colorado,” Gov. Ritter said. “While families, businesses and the state’s economy as a whole continue to struggle, these numbers demonstrate the recovery has started and our economic-development strategies are working.”

In addition to the 3,800 jobs added in November, Colorado employers added 5,200 jobs in October and 3,300 jobs in September, for a three-month total of 12,300.

At 8.6 percent, Colorado’s unemployment rate remains well below the national average of 9.8 percent and is lower than rates in many other states.

For the past four years, Gov. Ritter has advanced an aggressive economic-development agenda. He has focused on emerging industries such as energy, aerospace, information technology and the biosciences, while also building on the state’s assets, including cornerstone industries such as tourism, the creative industries and agricultural sectors.

Strategies have included:

* Establishing Colorado as an internationally recognized leader in the New Energy Economy;
* Cutting taxes for 30,000 small businesses;
* Simplifying the corporate tax code;
* Creating a job-growth incentive for new and existing companies; and
* Providing hundreds of small businesses with access to capital so they can retain and create jobs.

“I think Bill Ritter in many respects may go down as the biggest economic development governor,” said Tom Clark, executive vice president of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp.

Just this week, Gov. Ritter announced a partnership with NASA intended to create 10,000 new jobs over the next five years by accelerating the commercial rollout of aerospace and energy technologies.

Earlier this year, for the second year in a row, Forbes named Colorado the fourth best state for businesses and for encouraging economic growth. CNBC also has ranked Colorado the third best state two years running, and according to the American Legislative Exchange Council, Colorado’s economic outlook ranks second best of all 50 states.

“Our economy is recovering and Colorado is well-positioned for a strong and healthy future,” Gov. Ritter said. “Colorado has not escaped the worst recession since the Great Depression, but we are beginning to see the kind of sustainable job growth necessary to move Colorado forward.”