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.