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April 2021 Economic Indicators

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey revealed that 21 percent of Denver MSA employers surveyed plan to hire more employees in the second quarter of 2021.

Home sales in Metro Denver totaled 3,467 in February, up 3.7 percent from the same time last year.

The direct office vacancy rate in Metro Denver rose to 11.5 percent in the first quarter of 2021, the highest vacancy rate posted in the region since the fourth quarter of 2012.

About This Report The Monthly Economic Indicators is a comprehensive analysis of economic conditions in the seven-county Metro Denver area, or the region comprised of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson Counties. There are two metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) located within the Metro Denver region: the Boulder MSA (Boulder County) and the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood MSA (the Denver MSA) (Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, Gilpin, Jefferson, and Park Counties). This report presents recent data and long-term trends for the seven-county region, MSAs, or counties, depending on availability. The analysis includes four main data sections: labor force and employment, the consumer sector, residential real estate, and commercial real estate.

Notable Rankings

• The Denver-Aurora-Lakewood MSA ranked high in leading economic indicators in Brookings Institution’s Metro Monitor 2021 report. The report looked at economic growth, prosperity, economic inclusion, racial inclusion, and geographic inclusion, ranking MSAs over 1 million people based on growth from 2009 to 2019. The Denver MSA ranked No. 6 in economic growth, No. 7 in economic inclusion, No. 10 in geographic inclusion, No. 12 in racial inclusion, and No. 14 in prosperity. The report also found that median earnings in Denver rose 22 percent during the period, the third highest out of the 53 largest metros, but lagged in racial inclusion metrics, ranking No. 43 for the gap between the white and people of color employment rate.

• Colorado ranked No. 16 on U.S. News & World Report “Best States Rankings.” The state ranked best in economy, ranking second, and ranked No. 5 in education, No. 10 in healthcare, No. 15 in infrastructure, and No. 23 in natural environment. The report noted that it weighted health care and education most heavily, followed by state economies, infrastructure, and the opportunity states offer their citizens.

• Metro Denver ranked 16th for the most time lost in traffic, according to the INRIX 2020 Traffic Scorecard Report. This was down from No. 21 in 2019. Drivers in Denver lost about 24 hours to congestion, down 16 percent from 2019 but saved $359 last year on driving-related expenses, which translates to a total of $450 million. New York ranked No. 1 with an estimated 100 hours lost in traffic, followed by Philadelphia (94 hours) and Chicago (86 hours).

Read the full report below.

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