- 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.
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.