Colorado Open for Future Growth in High-skilled Jobs


DENVER – Mon., July 11, 2016 – The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), in partnership with Mercer Consulting, today announced the results of an economic analysis on Colorado’s future economy. The study was conducted to determine how occupations in Colorado are suited for current and future state, national and global trends, as well as determine the type of occupations that should be retained or recruited to meet current and future demands. The findings of the study will help OEDIT strategize its future recruitment, expansion and retention activities.

Key Findings:


  • Colorado currently has a high concentration of high-skilled, high-paying jobs and is producing goods and services that are in demand in today’s knowledge and information-based economy, which makes the state well positioned for success in the global economy.
  • As a result of this economic positioning Colorado has a higher median wage ($37,946) than the national median ($36,200).
  • Colorado’s workforce needs are projected to grow faster than the nation, especially in the knowledge economy jobs such as engineering, computer and business.
  • Growth in engineering, computer and healthcare jobs are projected to be higher than 2.5% over the next ten years in Colorado, which is higher than the overall workforce growth.


  • Colorado’s existing workforce is more highly educated and skilled than other competitive states and the nation as a whole. This has been a huge draw for knowledge based industries to the state.
  • Colorado ranks third nationally in net inflow (in-migrants minus out-migrants), and is an attractive destination across education and income levels.
  • Even with a strong existing workforce and net inflow we will have more knowledge based higher paying jobs available than people to fulfill them, so it is critical to develop a comprehensive in-state talent pipeline for the benefit of Coloradans and to continue to fuel the state’s economy.

“This analysis helps us better understand the existing fundamentals of our overall state economy and where we need to focus to ensure that we are as well positioned as possible so that all Coloradans have access to economic opportunity in the future,” said Fiona Arnold, executive director of OEDIT. “Overall, the results show that Colorado is one of the strongest knowledge-based economies in the nation, which positions us extremely well for future economic success. We will use these findings to help us refine our efforts to maintain and strengthen this position while at the same time we continue to deploy significant time and effort in areas of the state that are experiencing lagging economic conditions and opportunities.”

The report shows that Colorado’s main competitive advantage is its highly educated and skilled workforce. Compared to the nation as a whole, a greater percentage of Coloradans are employed in higher paying knowledge based occupations such as engineering, computer and business occupations. Additionally, Colorado has a greater percentage of workers employed in mining and professional services, and a smaller percentage of workers employed in manufacturing and healthcare. The state’s workforce is projected to grow faster than the nation, especially in the knowledge economy.

“The United States is transitioning to a post-industrial society increasingly comprised of knowledge-based enterprises,” said Laura Blomquist, senior manager of strategy and analytics at OEDIT. “These enterprises create higher paying jobs that typically require significant preparation through higher education and a high degree of complexity and innovation in the work itself. This knowledge-based economy is even more pronounced in Colorado, which is not surprising given Colorado’s high concentration of educated individuals and growth in the millennial cohort.”

Filed Under: City of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyEmploymentMedia Release


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