Colorado to be a top state for 2014 job growth

Top-StatesColorado is expected to be among the top five states for job growth in 2014, with a gain of 61,300 jobs in the goods-producing and services sectors, according to the annual University of Colorado BoulderLeeds School of Business economic forecast, released today.

That’s down slightly compared with a gain of 66,900 jobs this year.

The state is likely to keep its unemployment rate below 7 percent in 2014, according to the outlook.

The professional and business services sector is expected to see the most job growth next year, with a forecast gain of 14,200 jobs, or an increase of 3.8 percent from this year.

The construction sector, which was the hardest-hit sector during the recession, is expected to see an 8.7 percent increase in jobs, with a net gain of 11,000.

Even Colorado’s manufacturing sector is expected to grow next year, adding 1,700 jobs, or an increase of 1.3 percent from 2013.

Only one sector of the 13 analyzed in the Leeds forecast — information, which includes publishing and telecommunications — is likely to experience a decline in jobs in Colorado next year, going from 69,700 this year to an estimated 69,400 next year.

Richard Wobbekind, economist and executive director of the Leeds School’s Business Research Division, will present the forecast at the 49th annual Colorado Business Economic Outlook Forum this afternoon at the Denver Marriott City Center.

“With Colorado’s skilled workforce, high-tech diversified economy, relatively low cost of doing business, global economic access and exceptional quality of life, the state is poised for long-term economic growth,” Wobbekind wrote in the outlook.

Other key findings:

  • The natural resources/mining sector, which includes coal, oil and gas, minerals and uranium, will add about 1,000 jobs in Colorado next year, a 3.3 percent increase.
  • Private education and health care services will add 8,000 jobs in 2014.
  • Trade, transportation and utilities will add 9,100 jobs next year.
  • Leisure and hospitality will add 7,500 jobs, mostly in accommodation and food services.
  • The government is expected to add 4,400 jobs, but not at all levels. The federal government is expected to shed jobs because of sequestration, but state and local governments will add jobs because of the state’s growing population.
  • The financial activities sector will add 2,700 jobs next year after experiencing strong growth in 2012 and 2013.
  • Home prices will continue to improve in Colorado as foreclosures decline and inventory is absorbed.
  • Colorado, the seventh-fastest growing state in the nation in percentage terms, will see population growth of 1.7 percent in 2014.

To see the entire economic outlook, click here.

Oringinally posted by Heather Draper who covers banking, finance, law and sports business for the Denver Business Journal and writes for the “Finance Etc.” blog. Phone: 303-803-9230.