Published: Dec. 11, 2018

BEOF 2019On Monday, December 10, 2018, Leeds' Business Research Division presented its 54th Colorado Business Economic Outlook for 2019 at the Grand Hyatt in Denver. The economic forecast is created annually through a partnership between Leeds School’s Business Research Division with private and public leaders. More than 100 business leaders work together in industry-specific committees over the course of 10 weeks to describe most pressing issues that impact their sectors, and from those insights, they develop the forecast for the following year. The Colorado economy is growing, but the forecast projects a slower pace in 2019.

2019 Employment Forecast by Industry


Job growth 

Change from 2018



2.9 percent

Education and health services


1.9 percent

Financial activities


1.0 percent



1.5 percent



1.9 percent

Leisure and hospitality


2.2 percent



1.2 percent

Natural resources and mining


4.8 percent

Professional and business services


2.7 percent

Trade, transportation and utilities


1.8 percent

Other services


1.2 percent

Colorado Industries Included in Outlook

The current conditions and forecasts of the following industries are included in the complete Colorado Business Economic Outlook book. Please reference the report for full discussion of trends and description of each industry sector.

Download the Outlook Book

Agriculture (page 16): Cattle, grain, hay, dairy, fruits and vegetables, nursery and floriculture.

Natural resources and mining (page 21): Oil and gas, minerals and uranium, renewables, wind energy, solar energy, hydroelectric power and geothermal energy.

Construction (page 31): Residential, nonresidential building and nonbuilding (infrastructure).

Manufacturing (page 36): Nondurable goods and durable goods, with a breakout section on cannabis.

Trade, transportation and utilities (page 43): Wholesale and retail trade, warehousing and air travel and utilities.

Information (page 50): Publishing (newspaper, books, directories and software), telecommunications, film, television and media.

Financial activities (page 59): Finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing.

Professional and business services (page 73; includes county breakdown): Professional, scientific and technical services; management of companies; and waste management and remediation services.

Education and health services (page 81): Private sector education services and health care, with sections on opioid addiction, county breakdowns on drug overdose deaths and health insurance coverage analysis across the state.

Leisure and hospitality (page 91): National and statewide tourism trends, hotel supply, casinos, restaurants, parks and outdoor recreation.

Other services (page 103): Includes trend overviews for 16,000 other businesses not well defined in other sectors, including religious, grantmaking, civic and professional organizations.

Government (page 104): Includes federal, state and local budget and tax projections and analysis.

International trade (page 111): Includes analysis of tariffs and macroeconomic factors.


Event Recap

This year’s forum was presented by Dr. Richard Wobbekind, executive director of the Leeds Business Research Division, and Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. Following the forecast was the keynote address by Scott Green, senior engineering director for Google Boulder, who gave a lively overview of the evolution of the software industry in Colorado with personal anecdotes. The afternoon session included three concurrent industry breakout sessions that addressed relevant issues that are projected to shape Colorado’s economy in 2019. Topics covered the many facets of real estate in Colorado, the impacts of the outdoor industry on Colorado’s economy, and changing face of retail across Denver’s metro. Read the full press release.