Economic Growth: How Colorado Compares With Other States

Amber Fisher

In Vail, one of Colorado's largest tourism hubs, ski resort employees make their way along lift lineups and politely remind skiers to pull up their masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Some employees are met with scowls and grumbling — yes, they fog up your goggles and yes, we understand and we're very sorry.

The effort is everywhere — businesses, including the ski resorts, working tirelessly to stay afloat under the latest capacity caps and restrictions.

And that effort helped the state's economic growth during the pandemic — at least in the second quarter of 2020, when Colorado saw the 10th-fastest growth compared with other states, according to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

But our state's growth between the second and the third quarters has not fared as well — Colorado saw the 9th-slowest growth among states, the data shows. At the end of the third quarter, however, our state's gross domestic product was 16th highest in the country.

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Nevada had one of the slowest-growing economies in the second quarter, but then became the fastest-growing economy in the third quarter, according to the report.

"Healthcare and social assistance; durable goods manufacturing; and accommodation and food services were the leading contributors to the increase in real GDP nationally," the report reads.

"Accommodation and food services was the leading contributor to the increase in Nevada."

The increase in third quarter GDP reflected "continued efforts to reopen businesses and resume activities that were postponed or restricted due to COVID-19," the report reads.

Healthcare and social assistance increased 75.1 percent nationally and contributed to the increases in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to the report.

Colorado has seen a decline in coronavirus cases over the past few weeks, public health officials said. As a result, Gov. Jared Polis asked the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to move all counties under 'Level Red' on the state's COVID-19 dial to 'Level Orange' — a shift that's set to take effect Monday, and help ease restrictions on businesses.

The department has also launched a Five-Star Certification Program, which aims to help businesses operate under higher capacity caps. Metro Denver counties such as Arapahoe, Douglas and Broomfield have already been approved for the program.

This article originally appeared on the Across Colorado Patch