New business filings portent job growth in Colorado

Rick Wobbekind
Rick Wobbekind
Wayne Williams
Wayne Williams

The latest analysis of new business filings in Colorado portends continued employment growth, albeit at a slower pace.

A total of 29,680 new businesses registered with the secretary of state’s office during the first quarter,  a 27.3 percent jump over the fourth quarter. The increase corresponds with what’s projected as a modest expansion in employment over the next two quarters.

The Business Research Division of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder prepares quarterly reports based on information from the secretary of state’s office.

“The rebound in new entity filings is reassuring following two quarters of decline,” said Richard Wobbekind, executive director of the research division at the Leeds School of Business. “This is consistent with what we’re seeing in employment growth, the low unemployment rate and, really, a Colorado economy that’s in a general state of good condition.”

For March, the latest month for which estimates are available, the statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate slipped a tenth of a point to 2.9 percent. That’s the lowest reading since the jobless rate stood at 2.8 percent in February 2001. Nonfarm payrolls increased 5,500 in March for a 53rd straight month of gains.

Over the past year, the state jobless rate has retreated 1.1 points even as nonfarm payrolls have increased 71,000. The tight labor market has made it more difficult for businesses to recruit talent.

“With small businesses being so important to Colorado’s economy, it is nice to see business startups grow once again after two declining quarters,” said Wayne Williams, secretary of state.

For the 12-month span ending March 31, 104,235 new businesses registered with the secretary of state’s office. That’s up about a half of a percentage point from the same period a year ago.

For the first quarter of 2016, 129,832 existing businesses renewed their filings, up 14 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015 and 2.8 percent from the first quarter of 2015.

More than 600,000 business entities were counted among those in good standing in Colorado, a 5.1 percent increase over last year.