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New study shows Colorado’s economy is recovering slower than other states

Colorado's economy has struggled throughout the pandemic, due to a heavy reliance on tourism...
Colorado's economy has struggled throughout the pandemic, due to a heavy reliance on tourism and hospitality(KKCO/KJCT)
Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 5:46 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - A new study by the Common Sense Institute of Colorado has found some troubling statistics about the state’s economy.

In 2019, Colorado’s unemployment rate sat at 2.5 percent –– the fourth lowest rate in the country. Today, the state’s unemployment rate is around 8.4 percent, which is currently the third-highest unemployment rate in the United States.

The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce says that Colorado suffered more than other states because of heavy reliance on tourism and hospitality. Both industries have taken a huge financial hit during the pandemic.

“As of December, we had 150,000 less jobs in the state than we did in 2019,” says Diane Schwenke, President and CEO of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce. “That has contributed to an unemployment rate of around 8 percent.”

The Common Sense Institute study also looked into rising taxes and fees on Colorado businesses. They found that these fees are costing businesses across the state at least $1.8 billion.

The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce notes that rising business costs can drive jobs out of the state, and also makes Colorado a less desirable place for relocation.

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