C olorado’s economy — which is growing at a modest pace, with nearly all sectors hiring more people this year — is among the healthiest in the nation, according to an analysis released Thursday by the University of Colorado’s business school.
The state’s tourism industry is still faring well, despite a mild winter that decreased ski resort visits by 10 to 12 percent. Those warmer winter months gave the construction industry a jumpstart as companies could pull permits earlier in the year and get crews working on projects in January, February and March, according to Richard Wobbekind, who heads the Leeds School’s Business Research Division.
At the midpoint of 2012, Colorado is on track to gain 35,000 jobs, which places the state sixth in the nation for its job growth rate of 1.6 percent. Topping the list is North Dakota, which is experiencing a boom in its oil and gas industry, said Brian Lewandowski, research associate at the Business Research Division. Other states boasting high job growth rates are Oklahoma, Utah, Texas and Louisiana.
In December, the forecast for Colorado’s job growth was more modest, totaling about 23,000 extra jobs.
The only industries that aren’t reporting year-over-year employment growth are government and information. In the information sector, telecommunication and traditional publishing jobs are continuing to decline, according to Lewandowski.
Other industries — including natural resources, construction, transportation, utilities and tourism — are showing job growth, which indicates broad-based economic recovery, according to CU researchers.
Lewandowski said whether the wildfires will affect Colorado’s tourism industry this summer remains unknown.
“The Colorado tourism office has been doing a good job getting the message out that the state is still open for business,” he said.
At Workforce Boulder County, the number of clients seeking jobs dipped to 16,400 for the fiscal year that ended June 30. The previous year, the agency assisted 19,000 clients, according to Tom Miller, executive director of Workforce Boulder County.
Job postings for some industries have more than doubled from year to year. Openings for administrative and support jobs increased from 522 to 1,346, according to Miller. The scientific and technical sector had more moderate growth of about 52 percent.
“More people are getting jobs, and there’s the excitement of going back to work,” Miller said.