DENVER – The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment released new job numbers Monday that show an upward revision of previous figures, saying the new calculations will more accurately reflect the employment situation statewide.
The changes also make Colorado’s job picture marginally better, which makes politicians look better.
“This is a good time to start because there is no election being talked about,” said chief state economist Alexandra Hall. She said, however, that the new accounting also could make the jobs picture worse if the economy declines.
Applying the results through December brings estimated total nonfarm payroll jobs at the end of last year to about 2,333,700 from the currently published 2,316,600 and average payroll job growth in 2012 to about 51,700, or 2.3 percent. The last time Colorado nonfarm payroll jobs grew at that pace was in 2007.
The changes also reflect how different regions of the state are faring.
In Denver, the region will be revised in the third quarter of 2012 by about 11,200 more jobs. Colorado Springs, Greeley and the Boulder area also are estimated to be doing well, up by 6,400 jobs, 1,800 jobs and 700 jobs respectively.
Both the Grand Junction and Pueblo metropolitan statistical areas will see their jobs estimates revised down, with Grand Junction undergoing the largest downward revision at 2,800 fewer jobs than originally estimated. Hall said wide swings in natural-gas and oil employment could be to blame.
The department said Monday it is one of the first in the nation to use the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program for its analysis. Department officials said the new information is more closely aligned with the figures on nonfarm payroll jobs that use total employment figures because one person may hold more than one job.
State officials said the figures are still only estimates.
“Although (Census) data cover about 98 percent of all nonfarm payroll jobs and about 88 percent of total employment in Colorado, we are still only able to produce estimates, not a precise bull’s-eye,” Hall cautioned.