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Economic Outlook: Colorado Will See Continued Growth In 2015

Kyla Duhamel
Creative Commons/Flickr
The Estes Park aerial tramway, 2014. Economists say tourism in Colorado will be one of the top sectors for job growth in 2015.

Colorado’s economy is projected to continue its upward trajectory in 2015, although the growth won’t be quite as robust as in the past two years. Economists with the University of Colorado in Boulder expect the state to add about 61,000 jobs.

"It won’t be quite as strong in terms of job growth as 2014 or 2013, but another strong year," says Richard Wobbekind with CU’s Leeds School of Business.

In 2014, Colorado added more than 70,000 jobs, which placed it among the top 4 or 5 states for job growth. Wobbekind expects Colorado to perform nearly as well compared to other states again in 2015.

"Our forecast is for a little bit slower growth, and that would put us somewhere in the 8 range next year," Wobbekind says. "There are other people forecasting the Colorado economy who are suggesting it will be in the top 5 again next year. Our forecast is a little bit lower. But… I think it would be surprising to us if Colorado wasn't in the top 10 performing states once again."

CU economists are projecting a growth rate of 2.5 percent for 2015. Although that is slightly lower than 2014’s rate of 3.0 percent, Wobbekind says the upward trend over the past several years is significant.

"These three years together will be the strongest growth we've seen since the late 1990s," he notes.

The Leeds School presents the 50th annual Colorado Business Economic Outlook Forum Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. You can read the 2015 outlook here.

As the host of KUNC’s new program and podcast In the NoCo, I work closely with our producers and reporters to bring context and diverse perspectives to the important issues of the day. Northern Colorado is such a diverse and growing region, brimming with history, culture, music, education, civic engagement, and amazing outdoor recreation. I love finding the stories and voices that reflect what makes NoCo such an extraordinary place to live.
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