Our View: State Government Adds Jobs, Even as Unemployment Grows

May 21, 2012

While about 1,200 jobs were added in Colorado last month, a whopping 1,100 of them were in the public sector

It must be time to break out the checkered shirt, the pressed Wrangler jeans and head west.

With news out this week that the unemployment rate in Colorado is back on the uptick, it’s no wonder Governor Hickenlooper is packing up the posse and heading west to sign a few pieces of legislation.

While you have to give credit to the bureaucrats at the Colorado Department of Labor for trying to sneak the news out late on a Friday afternoon, nothing gets by us here at The Observer.

Most depressing in last week’s report is the news that the only sector in Colorado’s economy actually adding jobs is – you guessed it – government.

While about 1,200 jobs were added last month, a whopping 1,100 of them were in the public sector (although we suspect that those on the far left and at least one Denver Post reporter will likely dispute that statistic, claiming that those who work on the campuses of Colorado’s publicly-funded public colleges and public universities aren’t actually public employees.  And that no one – least of all the Democrats that have controlled the Governor’s office for going on 8 years now – ought to be held responsible for their hiring).

While it is encouraging that Colorado continues to hover a bit below the national average with respect to unemployment, last week’s news ought to be a wake-up call to Governor Hickenlooper.

A bicycle race on the eastern plains is not going to save our state’s economic bacon, Governor.

And enough already with the election year posturing over same-sex marriage.

It is high time for Mr. Hickenlooper and his entourage to wrap up the “TBD Tour” and to, well, determine what his agenda is going to be to begin creating real, actual, bona fide private sector jobs.  You know, the kind that actually contribute to real economic growth (as opposed to government jobs, which are “created” by taking money out of the pockets, handbags and bank accounts of private employers and hardworking taxpayers).

Far be it from us to wade in to the complicated waters of scheduling for the Governor, but we’d suggest that Hizzoner stick his head into an actual coal mine or even jump on a drilling rig during his west slope swing this week.

Sure, taking a raft trip down the Arkansas River is a lot more fun than touring a coal mine, but using the bully-pulpit to advance mining, drilling and development projects (many which are withering on the vine while a perpetually expanding payroll of government bureaucrats dither and obstruct) seems well within Mr. Hickenlooper’s job description.

Yes, we realize that Mr. Hickenlooper popping in for a photo op at a drilling rig isn’t going to magically expand the economy.  But it would send an important signal to the energy industry — and the radical green lobby that make their living hamstringing it – that Colorado’s Chief Executive cares about expanding job growth and opportunity in all of Colorado’s economic sectors, not just the public one.

Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

2 Responses to Our View: State Government Adds Jobs, Even as Unemployment Grows

  1. Lynn King
    June 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    I worked for the State of Colorado for about 5 years prior to retiring. This was the first time in my life, other than the military, when I worked in a Government agency. I worked in the Department of Labor and can tell you that there is an incredible waste, especially in the supervisory areas. In the trenches, I would guess about half the staff is needed and productive. In supervisory positions…hmmm….very few are needed. I am guessing the same could be said throughout the rest of the State agencies. I don’t have an ax to grind because I enjoyed my employment with the State very much, but I was appalled at what I saw with people making 80,000-100,000/year and doing virtually NOTHING.


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