Hiring in Colorado weighed down by loss of 4,800 retail jobs in May


Hiring in Colorado slowed sharply in May after a big surge in April, continuing a yo-yo pattern in monthly job gains this year, according to an update Friday from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Between April and May, employers in the state added 5,400 nonfarm payroll jobs on a seasonally-adjusted basis, including 200 in the government sector. That brought the total number of nonfarm jobs in the state to 2,855,400. Between March and April, employers added a revised 16,000 jobs, up from the initial estimate of 14,600 jobs added.

One explanation for the reduction is that higher interest rates and a ramp-up in consumer inflation, which is running at a four-decade high, are starting to weigh on the economy. Retail jobs, which are more sensitive to lower consumer spending, fell by 4,800 last month, not too far off from the 5,400 jobs gained overall. Retail employment also fell nationally.

“That is something to watch for,” said Ryan Gedney, a senior labor economist with the state, on a press call Friday morning.

But Gedney also said the number of net new jobs gained has consistently moved from the single-digit thousands to the mid-teen thousands each month this year in Colorado. If June shows another big surge like April, then what happened in May will hold to the pattern. If not, a new trend might be starting.


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