Job growth forecast for Colorado in 2014

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Downtown Denver

DENVER — All parts of the Colorado economy are expected to grow in 2014, says a new forecast by a University of Colorado economics professor.

The forecast is part of the 49th annual Colorado Business Economic Outlook Forum by the Business Research Division of the Leeds School of Business at CU.

Economist Richard Wobbekind wrote the forecast, which calls for a gain of 61,300 jobs in 2014.  That’s compared with a gain of about 66,900 jobs this year.

All sectors of the Colorado economy are predicted to grow in 2014 with the exception of the information sector, which includes publishing and telecommunications.

Wobbekind told KUNC that the September flooding likely won’t slow or stop job growth in the state.

“Our overall view is that we think most of it is short-term, meaning that it impacted tourism pretty heavily in the short run, and it obviously impacted individual homeowners and businesses in the short run. Much of that will get rebuilt in the medium term,” he said.

“With Colorado’s skilled workforce, high-tech diversified economy, relatively low cost of doing business, global economic access and exceptional quality of life, the state is poised for long-term economic growth,” Wobbekind wrote in the outlook. Wobbekind is the executive director of the Leeds School’s Business Research Division.

Colorado is expected to be in the top five states for job growth in 2014. The strongest sectors will be in professional and business services sectors, the forecast said.

“Colorado has strategic advantages in the professional and business services sector given the highly educated workforce, innovative spirit and small business base that we have in the state,” said Wobbekind. “If national-level political and fiscal uncertainty subsides, we may see even stronger growth in this sector than what we’re currently projecting.”

Retail sales in the state are anticipated to rise by 5 percent in 2014, up from 4.2 percent growth in 2013.

Colorado’s unemployment rate is expected to remain below 7 percent in 2014, which is comparatively better than the national unemployment rate.

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