The numbers reported today by the Colorado Business Journal's Mark Harden don't lie:
Colorado's unemployment rate fell sharply to 6.5 percent in November, the lowest level since 2008, and the state added 4,200 payroll jobs from the previous month, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment reported Friday.
The official Colorado jobless rate scored its biggest month-to-month drop — three-tenths of a percentage point from October's 6.8 percent reading — since before the Great Recession.
The latest unemployment rate stands 2.6 percentage points lower than its late-2010 peak of 9.1 percent, and 1.1 points below its level a year ago, according to adjusted data. Colorado in November had 32,000 fewer unemployed people than a year ago, for a total of 177,100, CDLE said.
Today's press release from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment is clear that the drop in the official unemployment rate to pre-recession levels is due to both an increase in the number of jobs, as well as due to some workers leaving the workforce for a variety of reasons. Often attributed to "discouraged" unemployed workers deciding not to try to find work, there are also people returning home for domestic reasons and going back to school–both of which can actually be considered good signs for the economy. There's some glass-half-full to respond with anyway.
In customer service, it's said that for every bad experience, it takes a dozen good experiences to make a person feel good about you again. The state of the economy is one of the most important factors going into any election, even though it's also something over which politicians have indirect control at best. Disparaging the economy as an electioneering tool has been a great gift to Republicans since Barack Obama inherited a collapsing American economy–and in Colorado, at least since the 2005 epic ideological battle over Referendum C. There's a good argument that a political desire to foment economic dissatisfaction against the sitting President has prolonged the recent years of recession, and slowed recovery in the American economy. We believe historians will be arguing that point many years after Obama's term is over.
In the meantime, it's at least getting harder to disparage the economy. That's good politics for the party in power, but it's also just plain good for everyone. We have to believe there's a winning political message for Republicans in an economic recovery, even if it requires an admission that the sky didn't fall on America when President Obama took the oath of office. We humbly submit that would be good for everyone too.