SKEWED: Government Employment Up, Private Sector Jobs Down

The only man in Colorado hiring

There seemed to be much breathless excitement over the new employment numbers today.  Colorado gains 3,000 jobs screamed headlines.  It’s all well and good until one reads beyond the headline.

But, looking at the broader economic trend here makes this report a real bummer. As it turns out, those 3,000 jobs were all government hiring.  From the Denver Business Journal report:

“But the Colorado job gain was driven by increased government hiring, with public sector payroll jobs increasing by a net 3,300 last month and private sector positions declining by 300, CDLE, monthly report said.”

Let’s be honest, a government job, for someone out of work, is still a job. But, in terms of genuine economic growth, this ain’t it.  And here’s more bad news, it’s not just that the hiring that happened was all in the public sector, it’s also that the labor force shrunk:

“And while the drop in the state’s unemployment level brought that closely followed measurement to its lowest point since October 2008, the decline was partly driven by a 1,600 decrease in the state’s labor force (defined as working people plus unemployed people actively seeking work).”

Colorado has one of the most highly-educated, innovative work forces in the entire country.  There’s no reason our economy shouldn’t be on fire.

House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso weighed in how shameful for the Colorado economy to be in this shape at this point:

“Losing 300 private sector jobs and having 1,600 people leave the labor force shows our economy is still on shaky ground. I am encouraged to see more Coloradans going back to work, but increasing government jobs is not a long-term solution to improving Colorado’s economy. We must create an environment that will foster sustained private sector job growth and the growth of our labor force if we want the economy Coloradans deserve.”

Gov. John Hickenlooper thought it was a better use of his time this week to pretend to be a rock bluegrass star than focus on helping Colorado’s private sector.  Hick, no one blames you for wanting to do cool things, but being Colorado’s Governor means you sometimes have to sacrifice hanging out with your friends (and having a beer, right?) to do the dirty work to make sure Colorado stays great.

 

ALL THAT GLITTERS: Why Colorado’s Economy Is Failing Under Hickenlooper

A toast to our neighboring states who actually know how to run an economy

The Left was out in full force on social media last week, touting what they want Coloradans to believe are great growth numbers.  Don’t get us wrong PeakNation™, we love seeing more Coloradans getting an opportunity to work hard to provide for their families, but we need to be careful and not settle for the swill Gov. John Hickenlooper is hocking right now.  We know Colorado has the people, resources, and spirit to lead this country in job growth and innovation, but we all know after these past four years, asking Hickenlooper to lead is like asking Hickenlooper not to drink a dog to climb a tree; it just ain’t going to happen.

Sure, the raw numbers looks good for Colorado’s economy: unemployment at 6%, 13K jobs gained in April.  But, when we look at the bigger picture, and especially when we compare ourselves to our neighbors—our most direct competitors—Colorado is mediocre is best, and, in all actuality, falling behind them.

Our Mountain West and Midwest brethren are absolutely crushing Colorado when it comes to unemployment rates.  To the north of us: Idaho 5%, Montana 4.8%, little brother Wyoming 3.7%; to the east of us: Nebraska 3.6%, Iowa 4.3%, Kansas 4.8%; to the south of us: Oklahoma 4.6%, Texas 5.2%; and, to the west of us: Utah 3.8%.  Among those listed of our neighboring states, only Texas is remotely close to us with their unemployment rate, and they’re still .8% better.  Every other state is at least a full percentage point better than us.

If we expand our view to include the entire country, Colorado’s unemployment rate sits at a pedestrian 6% while 25 other states have an unemployment rate below 6%.

Hickenlooper’s pro-business persona is nothing more than a slick façade that is masking his milquetoast mediocrity he is pulling the state down to.  Were it not for a booming oil and gas industry that Hickenlooper refuses to stick up for, Colorado would find its economic standing more on par with such Democratic dinosaur states like Illinois.  It’s time for a new governor who can actually lead Colorado’s dynamic economy to the top instead of just being another face in the crowd.

 

ONCE, TWICE, THREE TIMES A LIAR: Hickenlooper Won’t Stop Citing Disproven Job Numbers

We know it is inevitable that politicians will give the same stump speech over and over again.  This is the only reason we can think of as to why liberal Governor John Hickenlooper continues to repeat a talking point that the Peak has shown is a downright lie.  Well, it’s that, or he’s just a liar who doesn’t think Coloradans are going to call him on it.

In yet another instance, The Pueblo Chieftain reports how Hickenlooper told another audience that Colorado was 4th in job growth for 2013:

Still, Colorado is faring better than other states, he said. The state last year ranked fourth in the nation in job creation, he said. [the Peak emphasis]

Yet, as we’ve shown again and again, we can find no factual basis to back up his claim.  In fact, we find factual basis that makes this an outright lie, especially in light of the job numbers from December coming in.  Whereas the job growth rate from November 2011 to November 2012 ranked Colorado 4th in the nation, the job growth rate from December 2011 to December 2012 had Colorado falling to 5th.

And, now, with job numbers from December 2013 in, we can see that Colorado, from December 2012 to December 2013, or as Hickenlooper might call it “last year,” fell to 10th in the nation in job growth rate for 2013, and 19th if we only count private sector growth.

Hickenlooper must believe if he keeps repeating the same lie enough times, people will just start taking it as fact.  Don’t be fooled, PeakNation™.

 

DOUBLING DOWN: Hickenlooper Goes From Fudging to Outright Lying

A few weeks ago when Governor John Hickenlooper gave his State of the State address, we pointed out that he was fudging some of his numbers.  Well, last week, in an address to Colorado’s business community hosted by the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, Hickenlooper outright lied.

As reported by Ed Sealover at The Denver Business Journal:

“He [Hickenlooper] told the assembled business leaders that they were the ones who deserved credit for Colorado jumping from 40th in the nation in job creation in 2010 to fourth in 2013.” [the Peak emphasis]

We know Hickenlooper wants to distract Coloradans from what he really accomplished in 2013 (only one of the most liberal legislative sessions in Colorado history), but this is just ridiculous.  Here, he is just straight-up lying. continue…

 

MORE JOB LOSS: Sources Say Encana Moving Denver Jobs To Canada

Another week, another energy company moving Colorado jobs overseas. This time it’s Encana, who is downgrading their Denver office from a US headquarters to a regional office.

Reports the Denver Business Journal:

The Denver office of Encana Corp. will no longer be its U.S. headquarters but it will remain open, officials said Wednesday.

The change comes amid a management shakeup at the energy giant, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Like all companies do with negative news, Encana is trying to spin this loss, with a spokesman even telling The Denver Post that the change “is really a matter of semantics.”

Not so, say our sources. We’ve been told there is considerable chatter among employees that the change will mean Denver jobs being moved to Canada.

If that’s true, it follows in the footsteps of Royal Dutch Shell, who announced last week that it was shuttering its Colorado oil shale operation to pursue ventures in Jordan and Canada.

What we want to know is where is Governor Hickenlooper in all of this? He sure likes his ribbon cutting photo ops when businesses set up shop in Colorado, so it’s only natural he be made to explain why he couldn’t keep these jobs in Colorado.

 

OUT OF TOUCH: 7th Richest Member of Congress Says His District Doesn’t Want Energy Jobs

Boulder Congressman Jared Polis, the 7th richest member of Congress, told a Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry panel today that residents in his district are not interested in jobs in the energy economy.

As reported by the Denver Business Journal‘s estimable Ed Sealover on Twitter:

Polis has been feuding with the oil and gas industry recently, after a neighbor to one of his vacation properties sold their mineral rights to an oil company that began drilling. The Congressman sued to stop the drilling from occurring because he claimed it, among other things, “caus[ed] mental suffering, annoyance and the loss of use and enjoyment” of his vacation property.

He even went so far as to claim his family were turned into “refugees” due to his neighbor exercising their mineral rights.

What makes this latest statement from the spoiled Congressman even more tone deaf is the fact that Polis has had millions of his own money invested in the oil and gas industry.

Apparently it’s okay for him to make money off of fracking, but not his constituents?

UPDATE: Congressman Polis weighs in, saying he wants oil and gas money in his district, just not the jobs. Oh, and he incorrectly thinks Broomfield doesn’t have fracking going on.

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BOTH WAYS BENNET: Junior Senator Tries To Have His Enviro Love & Energy Jobs Too

Enviro protesters outside Bennet’s office (tweeted by Clean Water Action)

Junior U.S. Senator Michael Bennet is now backtracking off his pro-Keystone Pipeline vote cast last week that embarrassed his more senior Democratic Colorado counterpart in the Senate, Mark Udall.

After casting a vote that virtually everyone saw as an endorsement of the job-creating energy venture, which is opposed by most environmental organizations, Bennet is now trying to have it both ways — voting for jobs and not pissing off his environmental allies. 

Reports The Hill:

A trio of Senate Democrats are insisting that their vote for a Keystone XL pipeline amendment last week was not an endorsement of the project. 

Backers of the oil sands pipeline scored a major win Friday when 17 Democrats joined Republicans in a 62-37 vote in favor of Sen. John Hoeven’s (R-N.D.) amendment.

The amendment’s sponsors said it was a strong show of support for Keystone. But at least three senators who cast surprise “yes” votes — and angered environmentalists — have a different view of the amendment.

…Another Democratic backer of the amendment, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), joined Carper and Coons in declining to cast the vote as an outright endorsement of Keystone. 

“Senator Bennet believes the Keystone pipeline should go through the proper process and be judged on its merits,” said Bennet spokesman Adam Bozzi.

But sponsors and many backers of the amendment made very clear that they saw the amendment as an outright referendum on whether Keystone should be approved by the Obama administration.

Environmentalists certainly saw it that way, and are vowing to take action against the three senators.

“Our supporters in Delaware, Florida, Colorado and elsewhere will be bird-dogging their Senators or visiting their offices to make their disappointment known and encouraging them to change their position. These Senators have clearly underestimated how strongly their constituents feel about this issue,” said Jamie Henn of the climate advocacy group 350.org earlier this week. 

Activists protested outside Bennet’s Denver office on Tuesday.

Bennet’s vote was highly embarrassing to Udall, as it drove Udall’s image leftwards, with Bennet on the side of jobs and bipartisanship and Udall left out in the cold with the hardcore environmentalists.

Well, it turns out environmentalists didn’t much appreciate the cold shoulder and “bird-dog” Senator Bennet they did, protesting his office and attacking him on social media:

Which is it, Senator Bennet? Mark Udall and the enviros, or the 17 Democrats who joined Republicans in voting in favor of the Keystone Pipeline and the 20,000 jobs associated with it?

Votes have consequences, and even Allison Sherry picked up on this one.

 

“NOT AS BAD AS CALIFORNIA!” Report From Anti-Gun Group Promoted By Post’s Meyer Says Gun Grab In Colorado Not So Bad

The Denver Post is in the tank for more gun control. Is anyone surprised? Earlier today the Post’s Lynn Bartels compared opponents of new gun control laws to legislators who blocked MLK Day like 50 years ago.

Real classy, Lynn.

Why not photoshop a white sheet over the face of Rep. Bob Gardner while you are at it?

Rep. Jovan Melton probably wasn’t amused by Bartels quip. If Bartels is the one doing all the race baiting, what is he supposed to do?

Bartels’ journalistically curious remark follows an equally fatuous story from Jeremy Meyer in the Post on Sunday which attempts to create the impression that Colorado’s proposed gun laws really aren’t that restrictive:

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REPUGNANT OBTUSENESS: Democrats Ask Manufacturers of High Capacity Magazines to Stay and Make Their “Baby-Killing” Products Here, Only Sell Them Somewhere Else

2/19 UPDATE: Magpul responds regarding the Udall donation:

2/18 UPDATE 2: According to OpenSecrets.com, Magpul CEO Richard Fitzpatrick has made only one political donation to a Colorado politician: $500 to Senator Mark Udall in September 2012. Wonder if he’ll be seeking a refund?

2/18 UPDATE: Magpul recently posted to its Facebook page that their pull out threat is not a bluff. 

UPDATE: Alfred Manufacturing, based in Denver, announced if HB1224 passed it would be forced to leave Colorado. From the Post‘s Kurtis Lee:

“We are a third-generation Colorado company that has been committed to this state since my grandfather founded the company in 1948,” Greg Alfred, the company’s chief executive, writes in the letter. “However, if House Bill 1224 passes, we will plain and simply have no choice but to relocate part or all of our operations to another state.”

Shortly thereafter, House Democrats passed HB1224 on a voice vote. Because….jobs.

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During the debate over HB1224, which would ban magazines that hold over 15 rounds, State Rep. Joe Salazar (D-Thornton) pushed an amendment too clever by half. An amendment which in effect said “we think that these magazines are immoral baby killers, but hey, feel free to sell your baby killing devices to other states.”

It was targeted at high capacity magazine manufacturer Magpul, which has threatened to leave Colorado if HB1224 passes, taking with it nearly 1000 jobs.

Reports The Denver Post‘s Kurtis Lee:

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SMART CHOICE: Colorado Springs City Council Picks Jobs Over Enviro Jokers In Fracking Fight

Credit: Colorado Springs No Fracking FB page

The fracking fight came to Colorado Springs yesterday, and energy development won out over a radical environmentalist “mob” of about 20 people. In a 6-3 vote to allow exploratory drilling on private land in the Springs, the city council decided to not make the same mistake Longmont Councilman Brian Bagley and the Longmont City Council made by getting in bed with radical environmental wackjobs.

Reports the Colorado Springs Gazette‘s Ned Hunter:

Dave Gardner wore a green gas mask in front of City Hall Tuesday, hoping to encourage City Council members to vote against an ordinance that allows drilling for oil and natural gas within the city.

Gardner was among more than 30 people who showed up to present their views on the ordinance. More than half of the attendees spoke against it, but their efforts failed.

After more than six hours, council members voted 6-3 to approve a set of rules that would allow Ultra Resources, Hilcorp Energy Co. and other energy companies to drill exploratory and other wells within city limits. Council members Tim Leigh, Angela Dougan, Merv Bennett, Brandy Williams, Lisa Czelatdko, and Bernie Herpin voted in favor of the ordinance. Council members Jan Martin, Val Snider and Scott Hente voted against it. The ordinance must be voted on again at the council’s Dec. 11 meeting.

While the Gazette‘s reporter romanticizes the environmentalist protesters in his write up, giving short shrift to the majority supporters, the key takeaway is that the council ignored the radical environmental hysteria.

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