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Weld County ranks third nationwide for job growth

An oil-field worker starts his day's work before the sun rises over an oil rig near Kersey in 2014.
An oil-field worker starts his day’s work before the sun rises over an oil rig near Kersey in 2014.

After suffering a blowout during the oil and gas downturn, Weld County’s economy is slowly working its way into a top position again for adding jobs.

Weld County ranked third for job growth among 346 large U.S. counties with a 5 percent annual gain in the third quarter of 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only Midland, Texas, an oil and gas boom town, and Elkhart, Ind., a hub for recreational vehicle manufacturing, did better.

Quarter after quarter in 2013 and across 2014, Weld County repeatedly led the country, and it had a robust 8.8 percent gain in the third quarter of 2014. Then oil prices cratered, drilling screeched to a halt and employers started shedding jobs.

Despite a well-diversified economy, Weld County kept dropping in the ranks, and within a year it went from first to nearly last at 331st.

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