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Plain and Simple: Job Growth, Population, & One Very Competitive Market

OK, OK, OK…it’s 2015 and there is a lot going on in the economy. The economy is like…trending? We had the best last quarter of the year in a long time. There is a lot going on nationally, heck, even right here in Boulder’s economy. So let me try and solve some bits of this economical puzzle that’s being created by the massive amount of information out there right now. More, let me help “bring it all home” as they say.

Back in March of 2014, Arizona State University put out a report on the cities with the best job growth: Denver was No. 3 of 10 in the top cities and Colorado was No. 4 in states. In 2013, the unemployment rate averaged 7.4 percent. NPR  recently reported on December 29, 2014 that the jobless rate tumbled to 5.8 percent nationally, and now economists see the rate dipping to 5.5 percent or lower in the coming year:

“With stronger economic growth, the U.S. will add about 230,000 jobs per month on average next year,” according to the forecast of Gus Faucher, senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group. That would add up to about 2.8 million net new jobs in 2015.

Currently, the country has 2.8 million people struggling with long-term unemployment. So if Faucher’s prediction were to come true, workers finally could enjoy a healthy market where job openings and willing workers would match up. And the increased demand for workers would help push up stagnant wages.

Colorado’s job market is even lower than the national average – 4.7 percent unemployment and added 14,600 jobs in 2014 alone.

CU Boulder’s Leeds School of Business economist, Richard Wobbekind said that with 2014 marking Colorado’s highest employment growth since the start of the 21st century, the state will continue to expand in 2015, adding a variety of jobs in almost every business sector.

(To view the entire economic outlook for Colorado in 2015 including other sectors — such as agriculture, natural resources and mining, financial activities and government — visit http://leeds.colorado.edu/BRD)

Boulder's success may come at a price. A showdown between jobs and excessive growth. What does that mean for the flourishing job market: lots of competition.

Boulder’s success may come at a price. A showdown between jobs and excessive growth. What does that mean for the flourishing job market: lots of competition.

If these few factors are influential enough, plus the heavy Boulder Google Campus and it’s addition of a rough 1,500 jobs to the Boulder market… possibly, just possibly the Boulder market is going to become extremely competitive. It is the natural succession of a successful economy. The job growth locally is large and yes, the market is being flooded with new companies and startups, but in that is the rising population.

Easy enough to see; smart people like good companies and there are lots of good companies here in town. That won’t be stopping anytime soon, either. Like always, with a good economy comes a wave of stable, more growing, economy-seekers. This economy nirvana being experienced in Boulder, I think, will be flooded like all the other great economies within the country, and then it will may be hard to find a job. Or when jobs become open you will be facing Harvard-esque competition. Oh, not to forget that Boulder is in the top 25 smartest cities in the nation, so the population is already above the average job markets brain-wise.

The US Census Bureau measured the state’s growth rate of 1.56% per year, which makes Colorado the 5th fastest growing state and the 2013 population of Colorado around 5,268,636 people. Keep projecting that number, not including the infinite amount of possibilities for the local economy and growth via that economy, and that number should exceed 6 million by 2020.

Boulder is a very rare economy…we know that. Lots of jobs, lots of smart people, lots of new companies, lots of good housing; great place to live, great places to eat, great people, values, ethics, and all that comes with an eventual price.

So to me, keep your eye on a few simple things for 2015:

1. Jobs, jobs, jobs. They are here and there will be more to come.

2. Competition, because great companies attract the greatest minds.

3. Growing population, which can translate into more expensive living costs.

“Happy New Year everyone! Let this year be prosperous for us all!” – Gavin B. Griffin

Tweet Gavin @GavinBGriffin

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Gavin B. Griffin Director of Business Bloggers
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