DENVER – In June, per Zero Hedge, Colorado was reported as having the lowest unemployment rate in the country. At 2.3%, it was the lowest in the state since 2001. In the most recent report, North Dakota edges Colorado for first place. According to the Denver Post, North Dakota’s jobless rate in July was 2.2% while Colorado’s was 2.4%. For comparison, the national unemployment rate was 4.4% in June and 4.3% in July.
There are many things that contribute to this. Colorado has friendly business practices (most notably, a low business tax rate at 4.6%) and that invites people to, quite literally, move here and set up shop. The state is also attractive to the clean energy sector and those who want to work in an atmosphere with a myriad of outdoor and recreational opportunities.
But, a major factor is also cannabis.
The marijuana industry is growing, and growing fast. As reported in Forbes, the legal cannabis industry is expected to create a quarter of a million jobs by 2020. This is enough to surpass the number of jobs manufacturing is predicted to create.
This comes as no surprise when you take into consideration how much the cannabis industry is worth: in 2016, the legal industry had an estimated value of 7.2 billion. And this value will only increase. In the recreational realm, where Colorado is a leader, sales are expected to more than quadruple in the next four years.
The value of the market is welcomed news to anyone in the industry. Thanks to marijuana, Colorado created 18,000 new jobs in 2015 alone. Now California, where recreational dispensaries are expected to open in January 2018, is predicted to create even more. All of this adds up, so much so that nearly 300,000 new jobs will exist in cannabis by 2020.
Colorado was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana (though Washington legalized the same day). As a result, the Centennial State is often viewed as the guinea pigs of ganja. What happens here is predicted to happen in other states, as well. When it comes to the unemployment rate, this could be a great thing for the nation.
By Michaela Phillips, Guaranteed Rate Inc., Michaela Phillips is the Vice President of Mortgage Lending at Guaranteed Rate, Inc. Contact Michaela at 303.579.5517, e-mail [email protected] or visit michaelaphillips.com. NMLS:312874.