The Denver Post reports Weld County, Colorado leads the nation’s largest counties in employment gains due to new jobs in construction and oil and gas.

Weld County had largest percentage increase in employment nationally
The Denver Post; September 18, 2014 By Howard Pankratz

Hiring in Weld County continues to outpace employment gains among the nation’s 339 largest counties, led by new jobs in construction and oil and gas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For the 12 months that ended in March, Weld logged a 7.5 percent increase, the largest gain in the nation. Nationally, employment gained 1.7 percent.

Adams County, Weld County’s neighbor to the south, reported a 4.7 percent increase.

Both counties are riding the boom related to oil and gas development in the Denver-Julesburg basin, which stretches beneath much of northeastern Colorado, according to Brian Lewandowski, a research associate at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

“Oil prices have been so strong that we are seeing such a rush to extract from northeast Colorado that I think that we’ve seen employment build up,” he said.

The rush, Lewandowski said, has had a multiplier effect, creating numerous small companies that supply the larger oil and gas companies.

Private construction companies in Weld County reported a 23.6 percent increase, while oil and gas companies have seen a 22.8 percent gain.

Drilling has helped employment in the region grow more quickly than the state or nation, kept unemployment rates lower and propelled rapid home appreciation, Lewandowski said…

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