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Social Equity Licensee Highlight: High Demand Delivery

Social Equity Licensee Highlight: High Demand Delivery

The Cannabis Business Office's Social Equity Licensee Highlight series dives into the stories of social equity licensees currently operating in the cannabis space. By exploring the unique backgrounds, challenges, and opportunities of these owners, our case studies serve as unique window into the cannabis industry and a way for businesses to learn from one another.

High Demand Delivery is devoted to the task of distribution of cannabis in Colorado by providing flexibility and reliability to their partners. The business developed a delivery solution with dispensary profitability in mind.

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What sparked your interest in the cannabis industry?

Each owner at High Demand Delivery has their own specific story of what brought them to the industry. Overall, it was a combination of serial entrepreneurship and legacy participation, as well as the fight towards normalization of cannabis and black-ownership in this regulated industry that made our participation a must. 

 

How will your work impact the community? 

Community is very important to us, and giving back to the community through contributions is key. Last year, we were able to donate financial support to the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) association and Movement 5280. For a new startup with one contract at the time, this was definitely a milestone. 

In addition, bringing more people of color from the community into the industry through job creation and ownership is a priority. We have diverse hiring practices that focus on employment opportunities for community members that have been impacted by the war on drugs, veterans, and women. As our business grows, we will continue to support the community with a focus on athletic and educational sponsorships and financial contributions to community organizations that support youth.  

 

Is there anything interesting about your backstory that you’d like to share?

Before starting High Demand Delivery, co-founders Terrence Hewing and Sarah Woodson were both negatively impacted by cannabis probation prior to starting their first cannabis ancillary business, Kush & Canvases, LLC. Around this same time, co-founders Cliff and Lillian Stokes were owners of a 420-friendly, black car limo service called High End Transportation. Cliff and Sarah saw the opportunity for a strategic partnership in 2016, where they referred customers to one another. 

After five years of working together and collaborating, COVID-19 caused High End Transportation to close and left Kush & Canvases fighting to stay open. When cannabis delivery finally became a licensed business type, the already existing synergy and business history made the partnership a wonderful opportunity. 

 

Please share something unique about your company. 

We are the first social equity licensed transport company and  the first operational social equity transporter and delivery company in Colorado. Since June 2021, we have completed just under 1,000 deliveries. We have a full eco-friendly fleet of seven vehicles and are 100% minority-owned, 25% veteran-owned, and 50% woman-owned. 

 

What challenges do you face as a small business and social equity licensee?

As a new delivery company and small business, our goal is to grow and scale. Right now, we have a medium-sized fleet of seven electric vehicles, multiple social equity partners in our business, 15+ years of logistical experience, and 20+ years of business experience. Despite our business acumen, assets, and being fully licensed, we still have yet to secure a client in Denver. It almost appears that being a social equity license holder has created this road block and became our biggest challenge in securing additional contracts. We have personally reached out to over 60 stores and have had 24 meetings. The majority of the stores we have met with are currently delivering and have opted to stay with in-house delivery. However, we continue to reach out and make new connections to secure more contacts.

 

What would you change about the Colorado cannabis industry if you could?

Less than 9% of the stores in Denver have opted into delivery. An additional license type that is not reliant on existing retail stores would be the most important change for social equity in the Colorado cannabis industry. Warehouse/non-retail storefront delivery (compared to retail-only delivery) is the last real remaining opportunity to be a part of the plant touching market. This type of delivery allows a business to purchase at wholesale then deliver directly to customers, instead of delivering goods already priced at retail prices. Especially since the majority of all new social equity licenses are non premise transporters with delivery permits, and the majority of the transports do not have contacts! 

In addition, because capital is the biggest burden for social equity applicants, fees for Social Equity have to be reduced - and in certain cases waived - for a period of time to help social equity applicants.

And finally, more cities have to open up for social equity applicants. Denver - which is the only city that is focused on a robust social equity program - must remove distance restrictions and setbacks, as well as allow applicants to open new retail stores in neighborhoods of undo concentration through the exclusivity period. Without this change, it has been a pattern that only social equity applicants that are well funded and a part of the existing industry prior to social equity will benefit. Every new store in Denver is attached to a well funded existing member of industry that happens to qualify for social equity.

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We are developing a case studies series to tell the stories of social equity licensees currently in operation in the cannabis space. If you are an operational social equity licensed cannabis business, please complete our form so we may consider you for a future edition. The next two questions are screening questions. Additional questions will appear if you are eligible.

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Colorado Hospital Profits Among Nation’s Highest for Third Consecutive Year

Colorado Hospital Profits Among Nation’s Highest for Third Consecutive Year

Denver Metro area hospitals posted combined profits of nearly $1.4 billion in 2020; rural hospitals faced financial devastation without economic stimulus funding

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 30, 2022

Media ContactsMarc WilliamsDept. of Health Care Policy & Financing
720-626-0801 (cell)

Denver, CO - Colorado hospitals continue to rank among the most profitable in the  nation, making Colorado one of the most expensive states for hospital care according to the Hospital Insights Report released today by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (Department). Today’s report synthesizes information and findings from six recent reports on Colorado hospital financial positions.

Colorado hospital data indicates that the increase in hospital profits in pre-pandemic years largely went toward building reserves, expanding market share, and capital investments. Hospitals also received an estimated $1.07 billion in federal stimulus (a 263% increase to patient service profits). Most hospitals/systems (41 out of 45) increased or maintained days cash on hand reserves from 2019 to 2020. 

“We are all thankful that Colorado’s hospitals were able to address the unprecedented challenges they have faced due to COVID-19. As we shift from pandemic response to endemic management, we have an opportunity not only to commit to hospital preparedness and workforce readiness to be ready for future crises, but also to continue our work to make care more accessible, affordable, and equitable,” said Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera, Director of the Office of Saving People Money on Health Care. 

Colorado and Alaska are the only two states to rank in the top 10 for all four measures of hospital cost, price and profit. While national ranking on hospital profits remains high, they are trending lower since 2018 compared to other states. 
 

Measure
2018
2019
2020

Price/Patient

5th Highest

4th Highest

6th Highest

Cost/Patient

8th Highest

8th Highest

10th Highest

Profit/Patient

3rd Highest

4th Highest

7th Highest

Total Profit

1st Highest

5th Highest

6th Highest

The higher profits are also partly due to higher reimbursements from Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) and health care coverage expansions, which when combined create a lower uninsured rate of approximately 6.5%. Uncompensated care remained relatively flat during the pandemic despite the economic downturn. Concurrent with coverage expansion, commercial insurance carriers reimburse hospitals $1.66 for every dollar of hospital costs driving the overall patient service payment-to-cost ratio to $1.02 and total profit margins of 9.3%. This means Colorado hospitals are overcharging commercial insurance carriers (and therefore their employer and individual clients) more than they need to cover the underpayments of public programs. The continued trend of high hospital profits ultimately results in health care costs consuming more of Coloradans’ dollars and the total state budget.

In 2020, total profit margins were 9.3% compared to 12.0% in 2019, despite the revenue volatility and unprecedented nature of the pandemic. The vast majority of Colorado hospitals (92.6%) did not record losses or a decrease in total profits from 2019 to 2020, when including federal stimulus dollars.

All national health systems with hospitals in Colorado earned a profit for every pandemic period reviewed. UCHealth and HCA HealthONE realized higher total profits than before the pandemic. UCHealth’s total profits increased from 10% in 2019, to 14.7% in 2020, to 17.4% through September 2021, with earnings on track to double between 2019 and 2021 (UCHealth $540 million in profits for 2019, $845 million in profits for 2020, and 2021 through Q3, $878 million in profits), likely on track to achieve $1 billion in profits for 2021. It’s important to note that, as a system, HCA HealthONE returned more than $6 billion of the federal stimulus dollars it received, including more than $100 million provided to its Colorado hospitals.

However, a different picture emerges when analyzing Colorado’s rural hospitals. Had it not been for federal stimulus and other non-patient sources of profit, rural hospitals would have barely broken even (0.8% patient service margins). Federal stimulus and other non-patient forms of revenue are why rural hospitals were profitable (8.9% total margins). The Department’s analysis demonstrates that rural and frontier hospitals are vulnerable to patient, revenue and expense volatility caused by pandemic surges and related economic downturns due to their low margins.

The Hospital Insights Report demonstrates a continued opportunity for Colorado hospitals to partner with the state to reduce their commercial prices and lower their overall costs, including reviewing hospitals under each system to address outliers. There is also opportunity to study and learn how hospitals spent their 2020 federal pandemic stimulus dollars to further shape future stimulus policy.

“We have a shared goal to learn from this experience, evaluate the present and create new policy to prevent the need to activate or even consider crisis standards of care in Colorado again,'' said Kim Bimestefer, executive director for the Department. “This new insights report identifies opportunities for partnership that strengthen hospitals’ pandemic readiness in a way that addresses community needs while also identifying system sustainability and affordability priorities.” 

More information is needed to better evaluate hospital community investments. Colorado hospitals invested $836.3 million in community benefits in 2020, not including Medicaid underpayment shortfalls. These community investments equal 6% of hospital patient revenue received. Unfortunately, the Department does not have enough detailed information to identify where and how the state’s nonprofit, tax exempt hospitals spend their community benefit dollars, nor can it properly determine if those community benefit investments match each community's identified needs.

For more information on the 2022 Hospital Insights Report, along with previous hospital financial analysis, please visit the Department’s Hospital Reports Hub webpage.

Please register for the Colorado Health Cabinet Policy Summit happening this Thursday, March 31 at 3 p.m. (MT) where the Hospital Insights Report and the state’s pandemic readiness roadmap will be discussed in greater detail.

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About the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing: The Department administers Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid program), Child Health Plan Plus, and other programs for Coloradans who qualify. For more information about the Department, please visit HCPF.Colorado.gov.

April 2022 Accessibility Corner Blog

April 2022 Accessibility Corner Blog

 

To raise awareness about accessibility in the arts, CCI is reintroducing the “Accessibility Corner”! Every month, this newsletter will include a link to a blog post on a different aspect of accessibility in the arts. We define accessibility as “when the needs of people with disabilities are specifically considered, and products, services, and facilities are built or modified so that they can be used by people of all abilities.” (Disability and Health Inclusion Strategies) We will be curating resources by accessibility advocates, featuring the work of artists with disabilities, and organizing panels for deeper conversations on accessibility topics. This initiative is “one means to a larger goal— inclusion in the cultural community of people of all ages, with and without disabilities.” (Patterson et al.)

Accessibility is an important and often overlooked aspect of equity, diversity, and inclusion. One in five adults in Colorado has a disability. (For Colorado specific data, click here.) As RespectAbility notes, “People can be born with a disability, or acquire one due to an accident, aging, gun violence or in military service to our nation”. (Inclusive Philanthropy Toolkit for Philanthropists and Funders) Disability affects people from all demographics and walks of life. Everyone deserves access to engage in the arts. 

It's CCI’s goal to make sure all Coloradans have access to creative environments and experiences. CCI is curating these resources because prospective grant applicants must demonstrate their organization is complying with ADA regulations. CCI applicants must acknowledge that their programs, services, and facilities are accessible, or be following a plan to make them accessible. This feature will provide resources that can spark discussion and inform applicants’ accessibility initiatives.

Our intended audience for this work is broad and will vary from month to month. Since accessibility can be incorporated into every facet of the arts, we will have resources for individual artists with disabilities, arts organizations (serving patrons and employees with disabilities), and philanthropic organizations funding the arts. These resources will apply to a variety of artistic mediums including the performing arts, visual arts, literary arts, and more. 

To ensure that we create content that reflects the interests of the disability community, we are engaging in frequent discussions with multiple leaders in the Colorado arts community focused on disability advocacy. We aim to supplement existing resources and highlight the work of experts in this field. We intend to keep intersectionality, inclusion, and intentionality at the center of this work. Understanding that this work is ongoing, we welcome any and all feedback on how we can improve these resources. 

Thank you for engaging in this crucial work to make Colorado’s arts community accessible to all. 

Bibliography

“Disability & Health U.S. State Profile Data: Colorado.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 28, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/impacts/colorado.html.

“Disability and Health Inclusion Strategies.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 15, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/disability-strategies.ht….

“Inclusive Philanthropy Toolkit for Philanthropists and Funders.” Respect Ability, March 3, 2022. https://www.respectability.org/inclusive-philanthropy/.

Office for AccessAbility, Charles Goldman, Ann-Ellen Lesser, Mary Lincer, Sharon Parks, and John P. S. Salmen. Edited by William V Patterson, Katharine Bird, and Andi Mathis, Design for Accessibility: A Cultural Administrator's Handbook § (2003). https://www.arts.gov/about/publications/design-accessibility-cultural-a…;

 

Colorado Medicaid Executes Its First Pharmaceutical Value-Based Contracts

Colorado Medicaid Executes Its First Pharmaceutical Value-Based Contracts

New Medicaid value-based contracts will hold drug manufacturer Novartis accountable for its clinical outcomes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 22, 2022

Media ContactsMarc WilliamsDept. of Health Care Policy & Financing
720-626-0801 (cell)

Denver, CO - Today the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (Department) announced it has entered into two value-based contracts with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation for its Entresto drug therapy used to treat heart failure and with Novartis Gene Therapies for its Zolgensma drug therapy used to treat spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Both contracts have an effective date of January 1, 2022. 

With the introduction of new innovative treatments, prescription drug costs have continued to increase for Health First Colorado with a significant impact on program expenditures.  The Department has entered into new contracts that hold drug manufacturers financially accountable to the clinical outcomes demonstrated in clinical trials. These contracts will help deliver savings to state and federal budgets - and taxpayers - in the form of manufacturer refunds when drug therapies do not meet the defined clinical health outcomes for Medicaid members who are taking them. 

These value-based contracts between the Department and Novartis highlight the shared dedication to medication performance, an opportunity to manage program costs for taxpayers and most importantly, a commitment to better health outcomes for Medicaid members.

“The Department is working hard to close health care disparities, improve patient health outcomes and drive better affordability in the Medicaid program. Value-based contracts enable us to financially reward our providers for helping us achieve these shared goals,” said Kim Bimestefer, executive director for Health Care Policy & Financing. “Such contracts also help us hold providers and partners like drug manufacturers financially accountable for the better results we want from them going forward.”

One value-based contract will measure outcomes of patients starting Entresto and provide manufacturer refunds in the form of additional rebates to the Department if hospitalizations are not reduced by at least 20% in qualifying Colorado Medicaid members using this drug therapy.

The other value-based contract pertains to the gene therapy drug, Zolgensma, a one-time treatment for a degenerative disease in infants called spinal muscular atrophy or SMA. Zolgensma has a commercial price of $2.1 million per treatment. This contract allows the Department to recoup a significant portion of the Medicaid price if the drug therapy does not deliver the clinical health outcomes for a five-year period following its use. The Department is committed to addressing rising drug costs and improving infant health outcomes while preserving function and quality of life for members with spinal muscular atrophy through this new contractual agreement.

The Department intends to enter into more value-based arrangements with pharmaceutical manufacturers who recognize the importance of improving health outcomes and driving affordability while saving state and federal dollars on treatments that do not meet patient outcome expectations. Manufacturers are encouraged to send their inquiries to hcpf_Colorado.SMAC@state.co.us.

Learn more about this and other Colorado prescription drug affordability and outcome improvement strategies at “Colorado's Health Cabinet Policy Summit” scheduled for March 24th. Register here.

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About the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing: The Department administers Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid program), Child Health Plan Plus, and other programs for Coloradans who qualify. For more information about the Department, please visit HCPF.Colorado.gov.

Call for Applications: Funding Opportunity to Launch and Expand Registered Apprenticeship Programs Statewide

Call for Applications: Funding Opportunity to Launch and Expand Registered Apprenticeship Programs Statewide

For Immediate Release | March 21, 2022

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s (CDLE) Office of the Future of Work (OFOW) is encouraging employers, registered apprenticeship sponsors, intermediaries, and education or training providers to apply for the Scale-Up Grant Program, a multi-round funding opportunity that will support the growth of registered apprenticeship opportunities statewide. 
Awards will range from $10,000 to $50,000 and prioritize projects that are employer-driven and prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in apprenticeship. Funds for the awards originate from the Innovation, Diversity, Equity in Apprenticeship (IDEA) grant that was awarded to CDLE from USDOL under the State Apprenticeship Expansion Equity and Innovation grant in July 2021. 
“The expansion of registered apprenticeship programs will have far-reaching benefits for Colorado,” said the OFOW’s Director, Katherine Keegan. “Individuals are able to earn a paycheck as they learn in-demand skills and employers have a powerful tool to address their talent needs. These programs will help the state advance its economic recovery while also helping prepare Coloradan communities for the future of work. That’s why our Office is investing in launching, scaling, and diversifying these programs throughout the state of Colorado.”
Keegan’s comments are borne out by research. A survey from the Urban Institute found that 97 percent of employer sponsors of registered apprenticeship programs said they would recommend the program to others; the most frequently cited benefit of these programs was that they helped meet employers’ demand for skilled workers (80 percent). Other benefits included increased productivity and safety, improved worker morale, as well as increased retention. Apprenticeships also benefit workers, who are able to earn while they learn. Given that many people cannot afford to quit working in order to pursue training or education, apprenticeships can also help address inequities in the labor market.
The IDEA grant will help recipients fund capacity-building projects that launch new registered apprenticeship programs and/or expand them. In addition to funding, recipients will receive ongoing technical assistance from the OFOW Apprenticeship Specialist team to register or expand their program with USDOL and connect with available resources to support inclusive apprenticeship. 
A question and answer webinar will be held on March 23rd at 10:00am via Zoom to allow prospective applicants the opportunity to ask questions to clarify requirements for this grant. 
Please note the following dates and times:

Application Deadline: April 15th, 2022 at 5:00pm 
Start of Grant Period: May, 2022 
End of Grant Period: December 31st, 2023
For more information, including the Request for Applications and instructions on how to apply, please visit the Office of the Future of Work website.

Contact

Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations cdle_pr@state.co.us

Call for Applications: Funding Opportunity to Launch and Expand Registered Apprenticeship Programs Statewide

Call for Applications: Funding Opportunity to Launch and Expand Registered Apprenticeship Programs Statewide

For Immediate Release | March 21, 2022

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s (CDLE) Office of the Future of Work (OFOW) is encouraging employers, registered apprenticeship sponsors, intermediaries, and education or training providers to apply for the Scale-Up Grant Program, a multi-round funding opportunity that will support the growth of registered apprenticeship opportunities statewide. 
Awards will range from $10,000 to $50,000 and prioritize projects that are employer-driven and prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in apprenticeship. Funds for the awards originate from the Innovation, Diversity, Equity in Apprenticeship (IDEA) grant that was awarded to CDLE from USDOL under the State Apprenticeship Expansion Equity and Innovation grant in July 2021. 
“The expansion of registered apprenticeship programs will have far-reaching benefits for Colorado,” said the OFOW’s Director, Katherine Keegan. “Individuals are able to earn a paycheck as they learn in-demand skills and employers have a powerful tool to address their talent needs. These programs will help the state advance its economic recovery while also helping prepare Coloradan communities for the future of work. That’s why our Office is investing in launching, scaling, and diversifying these programs throughout the state of Colorado.”
Keegan’s comments are borne out by research. A survey from the Urban Institute found that 97 percent of employer sponsors of registered apprenticeship programs said they would recommend the program to others; the most frequently cited benefit of these programs was that they helped meet employers’ demand for skilled workers (80 percent). Other benefits included increased productivity and safety, improved worker morale, as well as increased retention. Apprenticeships also benefit workers, who are able to earn while they learn. Given that many people cannot afford to quit working in order to pursue training or education, apprenticeships can also help address inequities in the labor market.
The IDEA grant will help recipients fund capacity-building projects that launch new registered apprenticeship programs and/or expand them. In addition to funding, recipients will receive ongoing technical assistance from the OFOW Apprenticeship Specialist team to register or expand their program with USDOL and connect with available resources to support inclusive apprenticeship. 
A question and answer webinar will be held on March 23rd at 10:00am via Zoom to allow prospective applicants the opportunity to ask questions to clarify requirements for this grant. 
Please note the following dates and times:

Application Deadline: April 15th, 2022 at 5:00pm 
Start of Grant Period: May, 2022 
End of Grant Period: December 31st, 2023
For more information, including the Request for Applications and instructions on how to apply, please visit the Office of the Future of Work website.

Contact

Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations cdle_pr@state.co.us

3.14.2022: Colorado Treasurer Dave Young Issues Statement in Support of HB22-1279

3.14.2022: Colorado Treasurer Dave Young Issues Statement in Support of HB22-1279

For Immediate Release
3.14.2022
Sheena KadiCommunications Director & Public Information Officersheena.kadi@state.co.us303-349-8113

Colorado Treasurer Dave Young Issues Statement in Support of HB22-1279: Reproductive Health Equality Act

“Economic opportunity is a core tenet of the American Dream, and a mainstay in the Colorado way-of-life. So is reproductive health care access, as it is central to labor opportunities for women. Bodily autonomy and economic empowerment are mutually reinforcing. I urge the Colorado General Assembly to pass House Bill 22-1279 and take necessary action that those in Washington D.C. refuse to take.”

Colorado State Treasurer Dave Young

 

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www.colorado.gov/treasury

    

 

 

Press Release: Colorado Employment Situation – January 2022

Press Release: Colorado Employment Situation – January 2022

 

Unemployment Rate Declines to 4.1%;
Private Sector Returns to Pre-Pandemic Level of Employment

Household survey data
According to the survey of households, Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased in January to 4.1 percent from the revised December rate of 4.2 percent. Colorado’s unemployment rate of 4.1 percent marks the lowest level since it was 2.8 percent in February 2020. The national unemployment rate moved upward by one-tenth of a percentage point from December to 4.0 percent.Other highlights from the household survey:

Colorado’s labor force increased by 16,700 in January to 3,187,400. The share of Coloradans participating in the labor force improved to 68.5 percent in January. The state continues to experience a faster rate of recovery in the participation rate than the U.S.
 
The number of individuals employed in Colorado grew by 17,500 in January to 3,055,200, which represents 65.7 percent of the state’s 16+ population.
 
The Colorado counties with the highest unemployment rates in January were: Huerfano (7.2%), Pueblo (6.3%), Rio Grande (5.7%), Las Animas (5.6%), Fremont (5.6%). County-level unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted and are directly comparable to Colorado’s January unadjusted rate of 3.9 percent.
 

 

Establishment survey data

Employers in Colorado added 6,700 nonfarm payroll jobs from December to January for a total of 2,813,500 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 6,300 and government added 400 jobs. Over the past 21 months, Colorado has gained back 368,400 of the 374,500 nonfarm payroll jobs lost between February and April of 2020. That translates to a job recovery rate of 98.4 percent, which exceeds the U.S. rate of 86.9 percent.

After annual revisions and the January gain of 6,300, Colorado’s private sector has fully recovered jobs lost in early 2020. Since May 2020, the state has added 370,000 private sector payroll jobs, compared to losses totaling 358,800 in March and April 2020. That translates to a job recovery rate of 103.1 percent and outpaces the U.S. rate of 89.8 percent.

Other highlights from the establishment survey:

Private industry sectors with significant job gains in January were: construction (~2,000), professional and business services (~1,900), trade, transportation, and utilities (~1,100), and manufacturing (~1,000). There were no industries with significant over the month declines.

Since January 2021, nonfarm payroll jobs have increased 147,500, with the private sector growing by 134,200 jobs and government adding an additional 13,300 jobs. The largest private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality (~64,800), professional and business services (~30,800), and trade, transportation, and utilities (~11,000). No industry experienced job loss during that same period. Colorado’s rate of job growth over the past year is 5.5 percent, compared to the U.S. rate of 4.6 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all Colorado employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from 33.5 to 33.6 hours, while average hourly earnings rose from $31.12 to $34.27, two dollars and sixty-four cents more than the national average hourly earnings of $31.63.

 

Annual averages and benchmark revisions to 2021 data

The annual unemployment rate for Colorado was 5.4 percent in 2021, revised down from the previously published 5.9 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate in 2021 was also 5.4 percent.

Colorado nonfarm payroll employment increased at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in 2021, or 93,900 jobs. The U.S. annual payroll jobs growth rate in 2021 was 2.8 percent.

In accordance with annual practice, both establishment and household survey data estimates for Colorado undergo a benchmarking process. The benchmark process results in revisions to estimates for prior years. Below are select revisions to 2021 establishment and household survey estimates. More information on the benchmarking process is available at https://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/topic/benchmarking.htm.

 

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All Colorado estimates from the establishment and household surveys, including greater geographic detail, are available at: http://www.colmigateway.com. Estimates for all states and the nation are available at: http://www.bls.gov.

The February 2022 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, March 25, 2022. The full schedule of release dates for calendar year 2022 estimates is available at http://www.colmigateway.com.

 

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Technical Notes

It is a routine practice at the beginning of each year for the Bureau of Labor Statistics to revise estimates for prior years based on new information available and updated methodologies. Revisions to the statewide unemployment rate and all related household survey based series as a result of the benchmark process this year were made back to 2017. Additionally, county estimates back to 2010 are subject to further revisions through April 15, 2022. For information on changes to model-based estimation for the household survey, please visit https://www.bls.gov/lau/launews1.htm.The nonfarm payroll jobs series for 2020 through 2021 were also revised in the benchmarking process. Additional information on benchmarking total nonfarm jobs estimates can be found at https://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesbmart.htm.

This release provides information on industry employment and labor force statistics for January 2022, the most current estimates available from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The reference period for the establishment and household surveys was the pay period or week that includes the 12th of the month. Therefore, this release provides an estimate of Colorado’s employment situation as vaccination rates among the adult population continued to increase and pandemic-related restrictions were relaxed for businesses across the state. Additionally, the January reference week coincides with a spike in COVID-19 case rates for Colorado and the nation due to the emergence of the Omicron variant. For information regarding impacts to Bureau of Labor Statistics data collection and processing during the pandemic, go to https://www.bls.gov/covid19/home.htm.

The unemployment rate, labor force, labor force participation, total employment and the number of unemployed are based on a survey of households. The total employment estimate derived from this survey is intended to measure the number of people employed.

Nonfarm payroll jobs estimates are based on a survey of business establishments and government agencies, and are intended to measure the number of jobs, not the number of people employed. Other series based on this survey include private sector average weekly hours, average hourly earnings and average weekly earnings.

The business establishment survey covers about seven times the number of households surveyed and is therefore considered a more reliable indicator of economic conditions. Because the estimates are based on two separate surveys, one measuring jobs by worksite and the other measuring persons employed and unemployed by household, estimates based on these surveys may provide seemingly conflicting results.

 

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Resources Mentioned

Supplemental InformationLabor Force Summary January 2022City Report January 2022County Report January 2022January 2022 Press Release

Press Release: Colorado Employment Situation – January 2022

Press Release: Colorado Employment Situation – January 2022

 

Unemployment Rate Declines to 4.1%;
Private Sector Returns to Pre-Pandemic Level of Employment

Household survey data
According to the survey of households, Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased in January to 4.1 percent from the revised December rate of 4.2 percent. Colorado’s unemployment rate of 4.1 percent marks the lowest level since it was 2.8 percent in February 2020. The national unemployment rate moved upward by one-tenth of a percentage point from December to 4.0 percent.Other highlights from the household survey:

Colorado’s labor force increased by 16,700 in January to 3,187,400. The share of Coloradans participating in the labor force improved to 68.5 percent in January. The state continues to experience a faster rate of recovery in the participation rate than the U.S.
 
The number of individuals employed in Colorado grew by 17,500 in January to 3,055,200, which represents 65.7 percent of the state’s 16+ population.
 
The Colorado counties with the highest unemployment rates in January were: Huerfano (7.2%), Pueblo (6.3%), Rio Grande (5.7%), Las Animas (5.6%), Fremont (5.6%). County-level unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted and are directly comparable to Colorado’s January unadjusted rate of 3.9 percent.
 

 

Establishment survey data

Employers in Colorado added 6,700 nonfarm payroll jobs from December to January for a total of 2,813,500 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 6,300 and government added 400 jobs. Over the past 21 months, Colorado has gained back 368,400 of the 374,500 nonfarm payroll jobs lost between February and April of 2020. That translates to a job recovery rate of 98.4 percent, which exceeds the U.S. rate of 86.9 percent.

After annual revisions and the January gain of 6,300, Colorado’s private sector has fully recovered jobs lost in early 2020. Since May 2020, the state has added 370,000 private sector payroll jobs, compared to losses totaling 358,800 in March and April 2020. That translates to a job recovery rate of 103.1 percent and outpaces the U.S. rate of 89.8 percent.

Other highlights from the establishment survey:

Private industry sectors with significant job gains in January were: construction (~2,000), professional and business services (~1,900), trade, transportation, and utilities (~1,100), and manufacturing (~1,000). There were no industries with significant over the month declines.

Since January 2021, nonfarm payroll jobs have increased 147,500, with the private sector growing by 134,200 jobs and government adding an additional 13,300 jobs. The largest private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality (~64,800), professional and business services (~30,800), and trade, transportation, and utilities (~11,000). No industry experienced job loss during that same period. Colorado’s rate of job growth over the past year is 5.5 percent, compared to the U.S. rate of 4.6 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all Colorado employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from 33.5 to 33.6 hours, while average hourly earnings rose from $31.12 to $34.27, two dollars and sixty-four cents more than the national average hourly earnings of $31.63.

 

Annual averages and benchmark revisions to 2021 data

The annual unemployment rate for Colorado was 5.4 percent in 2021, revised down from the previously published 5.9 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate in 2021 was also 5.4 percent.

Colorado nonfarm payroll employment increased at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in 2021, or 93,900 jobs. The U.S. annual payroll jobs growth rate in 2021 was 2.8 percent.

In accordance with annual practice, both establishment and household survey data estimates for Colorado undergo a benchmarking process. The benchmark process results in revisions to estimates for prior years. Below are select revisions to 2021 establishment and household survey estimates. More information on the benchmarking process is available at https://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/topic/benchmarking.htm.

 

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All Colorado estimates from the establishment and household surveys, including greater geographic detail, are available at: http://www.colmigateway.com. Estimates for all states and the nation are available at: http://www.bls.gov.

The February 2022 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, March 25, 2022. The full schedule of release dates for calendar year 2022 estimates is available at http://www.colmigateway.com.

 

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Technical Notes

It is a routine practice at the beginning of each year for the Bureau of Labor Statistics to revise estimates for prior years based on new information available and updated methodologies. Revisions to the statewide unemployment rate and all related household survey based series as a result of the benchmark process this year were made back to 2017. Additionally, county estimates back to 2010 are subject to further revisions through April 15, 2022. For information on changes to model-based estimation for the household survey, please visit https://www.bls.gov/lau/launews1.htm.The nonfarm payroll jobs series for 2020 through 2021 were also revised in the benchmarking process. Additional information on benchmarking total nonfarm jobs estimates can be found at https://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesbmart.htm.

This release provides information on industry employment and labor force statistics for January 2022, the most current estimates available from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The reference period for the establishment and household surveys was the pay period or week that includes the 12th of the month. Therefore, this release provides an estimate of Colorado’s employment situation as vaccination rates among the adult population continued to increase and pandemic-related restrictions were relaxed for businesses across the state. Additionally, the January reference week coincides with a spike in COVID-19 case rates for Colorado and the nation due to the emergence of the Omicron variant. For information regarding impacts to Bureau of Labor Statistics data collection and processing during the pandemic, go to https://www.bls.gov/covid19/home.htm.

The unemployment rate, labor force, labor force participation, total employment and the number of unemployed are based on a survey of households. The total employment estimate derived from this survey is intended to measure the number of people employed.

Nonfarm payroll jobs estimates are based on a survey of business establishments and government agencies, and are intended to measure the number of jobs, not the number of people employed. Other series based on this survey include private sector average weekly hours, average hourly earnings and average weekly earnings.

The business establishment survey covers about seven times the number of households surveyed and is therefore considered a more reliable indicator of economic conditions. Because the estimates are based on two separate surveys, one measuring jobs by worksite and the other measuring persons employed and unemployed by household, estimates based on these surveys may provide seemingly conflicting results.

 

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Resources Mentioned

Supplemental InformationLabor Force Summary January 2022City Report January 2022County Report January 2022January 2022 Press Release

Economic Development: Polis Administration Launches Applications for Cannabis Business Office Pilot Grant

Economic Development: Polis Administration Launches Applications for Cannabis Business Office Pilot Grant

DENVER - The Polis Administration today announced the Cannabis Business Office’s Cannabis Business Pilot Grant, a bold, forward-thinking initiative to save small businesses money, foster a more equitable cannabis industry, and make it easier for Coloradans to thrive in one of the state’s fastest growing industries. 

“Colorado’s nation-leading innovations in the cannabis industry are strengthening our economy, advancing diversity, and inclusion, and saving small business owners money,” said Gov. Polis. 

The innovative grants, an initiative of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), provide financial support for social equity licensed cannabis businesses to accelerate the growth of their businesses. 

“Finding funding opportunities is an ongoing challenge that cannabis entrepreneurs face in the US,” said Cannabis Business Office Program Manager, Tristan Watkins Ph.D. “The Pilot Grant is designed for early-stage and growing businesses to gain access to the capital they need to succeed - whether it's for seed money to get started, or to help cover costs to improve their business.”

The first round of the Cannabis Business Pilot Grant opens today for eligible social equity licensed cannabis businesses who have been awarded, or are actively pursuing, a regulated business license from the Marijuana Enforcement Division. 

Based on their maturity, eligible businesses are divided into either the Foundational or Growth category, awarding up to $25,000 and $50,000, respectively. Funds may be applied toward previous and upcoming projects for their business, including: brick and mortar regulatory requirements, technical and expert requirements, licensing and regulatory fees, operation needs and innovative initiatives.

To be eligible for the grant, businesses are required to complete the Cannabis Business Technical Assistance program or a partner program, which teaches the fundamentals of launching and operating a business in the cannabis industry. Businesses will then complete the pre-application and application process, where they will prepare a project proposal detailing their projected use of the grant funds. The prerequisite technical assistance program is a valuable tool for applicants as they prepare their project proposal. Approved applications will undergo reviewer evaluations, and awarded businesses will be notified and receive funding soon after.

Visit the Cannabis Business Pilot Grant webpage to learn more about eligibility, award amounts, the application process, selection criteria and more. Applications are due by April 11. To be notified of future rounds of grant funding, subscribe to the Cannabis Business Office monthly newsletter.

 

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