Colorado’s hiring up in 2012, trend not expected to continue

Colorado’s economy is adding jobs at a faster rate than last year, and manufacturers are benefitting from expansion in the energy industry.

That’s the latest word from the Goss Institute for Economic Research, which issues monthly reports about the economies in the mountain region – made up of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

“Colorado’s job additions for 2012 are 10,000 greater than for the same period in 2011,” said Ernie Goss, director of the institute. “However, given the direction in exports and the value of the U.S. dollar, I expect the second Colorado job growth to be down from that experienced in the first half of the year.”

However, even with declines, Goss said the state would perform above the national average for all of 2012.

The index for the entire region was also higher than the national average, and above growth-neutral — as it has been for nearly three years.

“Although the businesses we survey continue to benefit from health farm and energy income, recent gains in the value of the U.S. dollar and global economic problems are likely to weaken this growth in the months ahead,” Goss said. “The stronger dollar tends to make U.S. goods less competitive abroad and push energy and agriculture commodity prices lower.”

Goss developed the index based on new orders, production or sales, employment, inventories and delivery lead time.

Overall, the index for the mountain region was 57.2 for June, higher than 56 in May.

Supply managers were asked the biggest negative hurdle facing their firm in the next year – 9 percent reported that health care reform was the number one negative factor, but 43 percent indicated that the European economic turmoil was the biggest problem.

Employment in the mountain stew was healthier than the rest of the nation, and contributed more than 4.2 percent of 2012 U.S. job additions.

Other results from the survey:

– Three-fourths of supply managers do not think there needs to be an additional stimulus program.

– Wholesale prices slumped in June, indicating the Fed should worry less about inflation.

– Economic optimism declined in June, based on issues in Europe.

– Supply managers added to inventories of raw materials and supplies for the month. Health growth signals that supply managers expect product expansions in the month ahead.