Denver’s Diversified Economy Continues To Grow And Strengthen

Denver’s economy is about much more than Coors and natural resources today, as it has become as varied as the amount of outdoor activities available to the city’s residents

April 1, 2016

Denver’s intricate web of hiking trails and beautiful, pristine mountain ranges have always made it a popular locale for anyone looking to get closer to nature, but Denver isn’t just for lovers of the great outdoors. Over the past few years it had grown into something much more than that. Denver has gone from having its economy completely dependent on natural resources to a high-tech city with a dynamic economy. Denver is now packed with startups, financial service firms, and aerospace companies. 

As Tom Clark, Chief Executive of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, said, “In the 1980s, we were Coors, carbon, and the Cold War.” But after 30 years of diversifying their economy, Denver can’t be categorized quite so easily. AsThe New York Times reports, technology startups like Ibotta, Home Advisor, and Gnip are sprinkled throughout the city and aerospace and commercial satellite companies like Sierra Nevada, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin all call the city home, as well.

Because the Mile-High city has such an appealing environment for a skilled workforce, educated millennials have been flocking there like chickens to feed. The combination of a strong job market, urban living, public transit, and plenty of entertainment options is an appealing combination for people in their 20s and 30s.

Out of every metropolitan area in the country with a population above one million, the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood region had the lowest unemployment rate of them all: just 2.7 percent, in February 2016. The national average for that same time period was 4.9 percent. And it is only expected to improve. As as a report from the Leeds School of Business predicts, Colorado is going to gain 65,000 more jobs in 2016, which would be a 2.5 percent increase over 2015.

The diversity in the job market is no doubt only strengthening the pull of the region. People will be more likely to relocate somewhere if it isn’t just for a single job, but if they can see that there are a multitude of options available to them.

By the way, it's not that Denver is having all the fun. Other cities such as Seattle, Portland, Atlanta, and Orlando are seeing similar growth. In all of these places, employment is rising, housing prices are up, and consumers’ wallets are opening a bit more easily. But Denver remains the poster child for this type of growth, a growth the city hopes will continue well into the future.

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