Labor conditions and confidence improve

There’s encouraging news in the latest labor estimates for Mesa County as well as the most recent results of a quarterly survey of Colorado business leaders.

The Mesa County unemployment rate dropped a half point to 5.3 percent in February, a welcome change of fortune after the usual spike in joblessness in January. What’s more, there was an increase in payrolls and the overall labor force in February, along with an increase in job orders posted at the Mesa County Workforce Center.

While it’s still early in the year, the numbers portend what could be improving labor conditions in Mesa County and the prospect for a more robust recovery.

Colorado business leaders are among those who are more confident heading into the second quarter, according to the results of an index based on the results of a statewide survey. The Leeds Business Confidence Index rose 3.1 points to 63.4. Moreover, the readings for each of six metrics the index tracks also increased on more upbeat expectations for the state and national economies as well as capital spending, hiring, sales and profits.