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Northern Colorado The ‘Epicenter’ Of State’s Economic Growth, Forecast Says

Matt Bloom
Kevin Unger, President and CEO, Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies, speaks on Tuesday at a presentation of the 2018 Northern Colorado Economic Forecast in Greeley.

Northern Colorado’s economy is beating out most other parts of the state -- and the country -- when it comes to job growth and employment rates.

That’s the good news from the 2018 Northern Colorado Economic Forecast presented Tuesday in Greeley.


“If you take a look at Denver, north through Boulder, Fort Collins and then over to Greeley. This is one of the hottest performing areas of the economy nationally,” said Brian Lewandowski, economist at the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business.


Lewandowski said the positive outlook for the region’s economy also came with some not-so-good news: lower wages.

“This can be an opportunity because it’s a lower cost area for businesses to grow, rather than doing it down in the Denver metro area,” he said.

When looking at average annual incomes across the state last year, Lewandowski said Larimer and Weld counties were actually below the state’s average of about $55,000 — lower by about  $7,000 and $8,000, respectively.

That’s because in Northern Colorado, the industries adding themostjobs are the lower-paying ones like hospitality and foodservice -- not higher paying ones, such as utilities, company headquarters, private education and information, Lewandowski said.

The annual Northern Colorado Economic Forecast provides an overview of the region’s economy by sector, offering in-depth analysis and information for businesses and policymakers.


I cover a wide range of issues within Colorado’s dynamic economy including energy, labor, housing, beer, marijuana, elections and other general assignment stories.