Study: Denver’s recession recovery among swiftest in U.S.

Denver Business Journal – by Mark Harden

Date: Monday, March 14, 2011,

Denver and Colorado Springs as well as two other mountain-states metro areas have experienced “some of the swiftest recoveries in the nation” from the recession, according to the latest “Mountain Monitor” report from Brookings Mountain West.

The study, issued Monday, also ranks Denver as one of six mountain-state metros that exceeded the national rate of job creation in the fourth quarter, although unemployment remains high.

Brookings Mountain West is a joint venture of the Brookings Institution and the University of Nevada Las Vegas that studies the region’s economy.

The report says that on the whole, the cities of the mountain west — defined as Colorado as well as Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona and New Mexico — “outperform national peers on measures of recovery,” especially Denver, Colorado Springs, Salt Lake City and Ogden, Utah.

It says that Denver; Ogden; Phoenix; Provo, Utah; Salt Lake City; and Tucson, Ariz., “beat the national rate of job creation” in the fourth quarter, although it noted that no mountain West city has fully regained jobs lost in the recession, and that the region’s employment levels “still sit below the nation’s.”

The Brookings report said that employment in Denver has grown 0.8 percent above its recession “trough.”

But it also noted that unemployment rates climbed in Denver and most other mountain-states cities through 2010 while rates declined modestly in most other U.S. cities.

Colorado officials last Thursday reported that the state’s unemployment rate in January was 9.1 percent, the highest reported since state record keeping began 35 years ago. But Colorado added a net 13,100 non-farm jobs in the 12 months ending in January, and 2,200 in that month alone.

Brookings said that every mountain-West metro area boosted economic output in the fourth quarter, and that Denver and Colorado Springs are among 57 U.S. metros that have exceeeded their pre-recession output levels.

But the study also noted that “sluggish housing markets continue to slow the region’s recovery.”

“In Denver, the healthiest major [housing] market in the Intermountain West, prices dipped again [in the fourth quarter] after turning around briefly in the third quarter,” the report said.

A separate, nationwide “MetroMonitor” report from Brookings’ Metropolitan Study Program, also released Monday, ranks Denver among the nation’s 20 strongest-performing metro areas coming out of the recession.

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About dherries
Dave and Sally Herries and The RealtyColorado Team - Real Estate Broker serving the metro-Denver area. Offering properties in urban, sub-urban and rural areas. Our mission statement is "Enriching lives through real estate."

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