DENVER (AP) – University of Colorado economists expect more jobs to be created in Colorado in the new year, including the first gains in the construction industry in four years.
Their annual economic forecast released Monday predicts slow but steady growth for the state, mirroring predictions for the nation as a whole.
Colorado entered the recession later, came out of the economic downturn later and now appears to be passing many other states in job growth and recovery, the economists said. Colorado is expected to be in the top 10 states for job growth in 2012, they said.
CU economists expect 23,000 new jobs to be created in Colorado, down from 27,500 this year.
“We will continue to add jobs in a wide array of sectors, but not at the dramatic rate that is necessary to significantly lower the unemployment rate,” said University of Colorado economist Richard Wobbekind.
Shock waves from economic crises in Europe and Washington continue to hurt consumer confidence, resulting in lower household spending, he said.
The strongest sectors for new jobs will be in educational and health services, along with professional and business services sectors, economists said. They include high-paying positions such as engineers and computer system designers.
Colorado ranchers and farmers had a big year, with strong profits for livestock and crops because Colorado was spared the historic droughts in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Colorado ranchers and farmers are also expected to do well this year.
Manufacturing is expected to shed jobs after adding its first positions in eight years.
Colorado lost 151,000 jobs between April 2008 and January 2010. Since then, the state has been slowly adding jobs.
– By Steven K. Paulson, AP Writer
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