The Headlines from The Denver Post and The Denver Business Journal blare “Colorado unemployment drops to lowest mark since March 2008,” and “Colorado jobs: Another sharp drop in unemployment,” respectively. But, looking beyond just the unemployment rate reveals another story. In reality (you know, that place where most of us live, and not every day is just another beer in a long line of them), Colorado’s net gain of just 300 jobs is only achieved because government added 2,400 to compensate for the private sector losing 2,100 jobs. As The Denver Business Journal writes:
A separate survey of Colorado employers showed a far more modest gain in payroll jobs last month of just 300, a fraction of the average monthly gain of 5,067 over the last 12 months. In fact, the October survey showed private-sector payroll jobs declining by 2,100 over the month, but government jobs increased by 2,400. [the Peak’s emphasis]
With job growth like this, who needs a recession?
We thought Gov. John Hickenlooper was supposed to be a man skilled at spurring the growth of businesses, not the growth of government. Then again, having to explain where 2,100 private sector jobs went when you claim you won re-election based on your work with the economy is a lot more unpleasant than just being a big-government liberal (“And you get a government job, and you get a government job, and you get a government job. Everybody gets a government job!”)
While this “job growth” may make for an easy number for Hickenlooper to repeat ad nauseam, it’s the sort of false positive that doesn’t translate to what Coloradans are really feeling in their homes. Adding to this “what growth?” feeling, the average hours worked per week by those employed continued to decline as well to 34.4 hours from 34.6 hours a year ago. Not that shocking seeing how Obamacare rewrote that a 30 hour work week was now considered “full time” and would require employers to provide costly insurance regardless of industry, situation, or other considerations.
Yes, by all means, let us celebrate the great economy Hickenlooper has brought to Colorado; where government grows even bigger, and the private sector that supports that bigger government through taxes shrinks.