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DENVER-Finally, some good news for the local economy, which means the commercial real estate market may finally have passed the bottom and can slowly recover. In April, Colorado boasted the second fastest growth rate in the US, adding 14,500 new jobs.

Although a long way from replacing the tens of thousands of jobs lost since the telecom bust, it‘s a welcome relief from the downturn that has been plaguing the state.

“This is yet another demonstration that Colorado’s economy is strong and getting stronger,” says Gov. Bill Owens. “This is good news. Coloradans should know that the future looks bright.”

April’s figures mark the second consecutive month of job growth, and only the third month of job growth since May 2002. A state-by-state summary released by the US Department of Labor shows Colorado added 26,300 jobs since February. Colorado’s unemployment rate of 5.1% for April is an improvement over April 2003′s 6.2% rate. Despite a slight up-tick of 0.2 percentage points, Colorado remains well below the national unemployment average of 5.6%.

Colorado’s numbers are part of a nationwide positive economic trend, although Colorado — as several commercial real estate reports have pointed out — is lagging the national average. Since August, more than 1.1 million jobs have been added, with eight consecutive months of gains.

In April 288,000 net new jobs were created nationwide. The national economy grew at a strong annual pace of 4.2% in the first quarter of this year. The growth rate in the last three quarters is the fastest in nearly 20 years.

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