A More Competitive Colorado

The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation’s 10th edition of its annual “Toward a More Competitive Colorado” report showed that Colorado had the fifth-highest employment growth in the nation during the economic recovery from 2008 to 2013. The state’s No. 3 ranking for job growth was up from No. 5 in 2012.

The report analyzes hundreds of data sources to evaluate Colorado’s competitive position against the other 49 states.

The availability of highly educated and skilled workers is a vital factor in the rivalry among states to attract new jobs and investment. This year’s findings again point to Colorado’s dominance in one key category – residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Ranking No. 2 in the nation in 2013, Colorado has ranked among the top three states for its highly educated workers for nine straight years.

Colorado’s population growth continues to outpace the nation and nearly every other state. Colorado was the third-fastest growing state in 2013, up from sixth in 2012. From 2012 to 2013, the state’s population grew 1.6 percent compared with 0.7 percent nationally, placing Colorado among the top 10 states since 2006.

Colorado also ranked as the “leanest” state in the country, so the health of Colorado’s workforce continues to be one of its strongest competitive positions.

One the down side, rising housing costs are becoming a challenge, with the state now among the top 10 most expensive housing markets.

In addition, a “chaotic and unbalanced state and local tax system” creates hurdles for companies and citizens. Colorado’s property tax system continues to place significant costs on commercial property.

The full report can be found here.

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