Economists expect bigger Colorado job losses in 2010 | AspenTimes.com

Economists expect bigger Colorado job losses in 2010

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER – Economists expect Colorado to lose many more jobs than initially expected in 2010 as businesses remain wary of hiring workers.

University of Colorado economist Richard Wobbekind on Wednesday said he now expects 20,250 jobs to be lost in Colorado this year, significantly more than the 3,200 he predicted back in December.

Denver’s Center for Business and Economic Forecasting is predicting a loss of 30,000 jobs.

That’s still far below the more than 100,000 jobs lost in 2009.

Economist Patricia Silverstein says experts had been encouraged by a national decrease in unemployment claims but misread the willingness of businesses to hire.

Wobbekind says small businesses do most of the hiring in Colorado, and many are still having trouble getting loans.

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The hiring outlook is improving though, according to a monthly survey of supply managers released Thursday by the Goss Institute for Economic Research, led by Ernie Goss of Creighton University. The institute said the June employment index for Colorado was 80.2. Anything above 50 indicates growth.

Other Colorado economists also see growth ahead. The Colorado Legislative Council said in June that it expected 1.1 percent job growth in 2011, with an increase of 24,300 jobs.

However, legislative economists have forecast that the unemployment rate will reach 9.2 percent next year as people who stopped looking for jobs during tough times return to the labor force.

Colorado’s unemployment rate is now at 8.2 percent.

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