The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), in partnership with Mercer Consulting, 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.
“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.”
Findings of the report will be used to help provide future projections of occupations and industry clusters, defining the optimal mix of occupations and wage levels across industries and how it relates to business retention and recruitment in the state. To access the full report, please click here.