Strong job growth of high-skilled, high-paying jobs is in Colorado’s ten-year future, according to an economic study released in July.
The study concludes that the state's workforce is projected to grow faster than the nation, especially in the knowledge economy.
Prepared by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) in partnership with Mercer Consulting, the study analyzed Colorado's future economy.
"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,” said Fiona Arnold, executive director of OEDIT.
Key findings show Colorado has a high concentration of high-skilled jobs producing goods and services that fill a need in today’s knowledge and information-based economy.
Colorado's reported main competitive advantage is its current 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.
That educated workforce has been a factor in bringing knowledge-based industries to the state.
And the need for knowledge-based workers will continue to grow, increasing more overall workforce growth. The number of Colorado jobs in engineering, computer and healthcare are projected to increase 2.5 percent over the next decade, outpacing the rest of the nation.
The state also has a greater percentage of mining and professional services workers, and a smaller percentage of manufacturing and healthcare workers.
At nearly $38,000, median wages are higher in Colorado than the national median of just over $36,200.
The state ranks No. 3 in the U.S. for net inflow, meaning there are more people moving to Colorado compared than leaving as the region continues to be an attractive destination across education and income levels.
But even with the current workforce and newcomers, projections are that there will be more knowledge-based jobs available than people qualified to fulfill them.
"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 Arnold.
Development of a comprehensive in-state talent pipeline is critical for the benefit of Coloradans and to continue to fuel the state's economy, according to the report.
"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."
The full report can be found at http://ow.ly/mOHB303neq2 .
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