Colorado economy continues robust pace in 2014, says CU economist

July 2, 2014

July 10, 2014                                                Richard Wobbekind

           At the mid-way point of 2014, Colorado’s economy continues to grow at a robust pace across almost all sectors, says economist Richard Wobbekind of the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business.

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Colorado economy continues robust pace in 2014, says CU economist

July 10, 2014                                                Richard Wobbekind

At the mid-way point of 2014, Colorado’s economy continues to grow at a robust pace across almost all sectors, says economist Richard Wobbekind of the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business.

CUT 1 “Overall the growth has been slightly more robust than we originally forecast, perhaps up in the 65,000 job range, and we were forecasting somewhere around 62, 63,000. (:13) Across the board there’s some sectors that are performing at a much higher level and some sectors that are performing a little bit more slowly, but on balance pretty much the state is growing at a relatively good pace.” (:26)

            This economic growth pace puts Colorado in the top five of the fastest growing states in the country, says Wobbekind.

CUT 2  “The growth for Colorado that we are forecasting for 2014, would make Colorado the fourth fastest growing state in the country, just shy of 3 percent job growth, 2.8, 2.9 percent job growth -- roughly twice the pace of the national economy in terms of job growth. (:20) So Colorado continues to be a shining star in the grand scheme of things as it was in 2013.” (:27)

            And not only is job growth robust but it is very broad based, says Wobbekind, which makes for a healthy, diverse economy.

CUT 3 (1:23) “The job growth is very broad based, which we like in terms of diversifying the economy. (:05) Only one sector continues to lag a little bit -- the information sector -- although financial services has been relatively flat as well.” (:14)

 

            Here is a breakdown from Wobbekind of several top economic sectors.

Professional Services:

“It continues to be the largest contributor in terms of absolute job growth and that includes professional, scientific and technical engineering software, but also things like accounting, marketing, legal services, and so on. (:18) So it is a big sector in terms of the professional skill set and it is a high-paying wage sector, so that is a good one.” (:25)

Natural resources (oil, natural gas and coal):

“One interesting sector in the economy right now that has had the fastest percentage job growth is natural resources and mining, the natural resources sector. (:11) Colorado has become a top ten state in oil production, gas production, coal production. (:18)

Colorado now a major oil producing state:

“One of the interesting sort of tidbits, if you will, is the total output from oil actually surpassed the total output from natural gas in the past year and this is a really big change. (:14) Over time we used to be a much larger output in gas and coal and now oil is the largest, single-dollar value of output. So we’ve become a major oil producer over the last five years.”

Tourism:

“We’re seeing a real resurgence in the tourism sector. We’ve clearly come back through the significant downturn the sector took with the recession and now we are seeing strong job growth there as well. (:12) In fact, I think one of the biggest issues for the tourism sector right now is finding employees in some of the counties because there has been such strong job growth along the Front Range. We’ve seen some migration out of the mountains and down to the Front Range.” (:27)

Private education and private health services:

“Next in growth is private education and private health services and frankly most of that is on the health services side so we have seen a continued growth in the private part of health.” (:11)

Agriculture:

“And even agriculture is seeing a nice bounce back from the droughts of 2013. Still drought conditions in parts of the state, not dismissing that, but we’re seeing definitely better numbers for 2014 in terms of winter wheat production and other things.” (:17)

Government budgets:

“At the local government level it is clearly helpful in terms of retail sales growth. Retail sales is running at about 6 percent year over year -- again at a higher rate than the national economy. And, of course, a chunk of those are taxable sales and so when we see that we also see revenue flowing in to the coffers of local government and state government, which has a retail sales tax. (:24) And the combination of job growth, income growth and retail sales growth has really helped the state government in terms of its budget.” (:33)

-CU-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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