Published: Jan. 19, 2017 By

A construction worker in a helmet is seen surrounded by steel framing.

Pixabay image.

New business filings exhibited “unrelenting growth” in the final quarter of 2016, while the energy sector has reached bottom but is in the early stages of recovery, according to a CU Boulder report released today by Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

It also shows that employment growth is projected to continue, but at a slower pace in the first half of 2017. The report – prepared by CU Boulder’s Business Research Division at the Leeds School of Business using data from the secretary of state’s business registry  – additionally notes enormous differences in employment between the urban and rural parts of the state, reaching below-peak and peak levels, respectively.

The report looks at a variety of factors, including new business filings, business renewals, construction and the unemployment rate, both in Colorado and nationally.

“Steady year-over-year improvement in Colorado’s economic indicators leaves me optimistic about 2017,” Williams said. “To see state business leaders share in my optimism is also encouraging for Colorado.”

The secretary of state’s business and licensing division recorded 24,763 new business filings in the final quarter of 2016, a 6.3 percent increase over the same period in 2015. For the year, 109,526 new business filings were recorded in the state, also showing growth over 2015.

“Growth in business filings is consistent with overall population and employment growth that we are seeing in Colorado,” said economist Richard Wobbekind, executive director of the Business Research Division. “It appears that the energy sector will be less of a drag on growth compared to the past two years.”

The Colorado real estate market continues to far outpace national growth, and the number of issued building permits reflects the expansion, although it is not yet at pre-recession levels.