Denver Market Outlook for 2022

January 15, 2022

Another year in the books and a new year is here! Today’s new normal has brought about many changes, some expected, many unexpected. Despite all the turmoil, the Denver market remains strong. And we’re not the only ones who think so!

The annual Business Economic Outlook published by the University of Colorado-Boulder Leeds School of Business dives deep into everything you need to know about the Colorado economy, even going into the different sectors and areas throughout Colorado and their outlooks. This report compiles data and insights from discussions with more than 130 business leaders. It’s a worthwhile read, but we’ll summarize some of its main points here!

  • Colorado rebounded in 2021. In 2020, Colorado lost 143,500 jobs. That was a loss of 376,000 jobs between February and April 2020, and then 313,000 were added back over the next 18 months. It’s looking like Colorado will end the year having added 87,600 jobs in 2021, a growth of 3.3%.
  • Things look good for 2022. The report projects that Colorado will add 73,900 jobs in 2022, reaching a new record employment level in the state.
  • Unemployment is dropping. Unemployment spiked to 12.1% in April 2020—a record. As of October 2021, the rate was 5.4% and is projected to average 5.6% for 2021. The report projected that unemployment would drop even further in 2022 as the labor force continues to rebound.
  • Professional and business services weathered the pandemic storm better than most other sectors. This includes subsectors that employ highly skilled workers, including those working in the area of accounting and finance. Employment for this sector declined 2% in 2020, but is projected to grow 4.6% to average 450,400 jobs in 2021. Growth is likely to continue at 1.8% in 2022, to total 458,600.
  • Leisure and hospitality as a sector has taken a hit. There are many challenges in this industry, including a widespread worker shortage, and the tourism industry isn’t expected to recover for years. This, of course, has impacted Colorado’s economy as a whole, but other sectors are doing well enough to help make up for the struggles in tourism, leisure and hospitality.
  • Colorado is no longer in the top 10 for employment growth. While employment growth is projected in all 11 industries in Colorado in 2022, the service sector impact means that Colorado will likely fall out of the top 10 states for employment growth in 2021.
  • Professional and business services is the largest private sector in Colorado. It has 20% of total employment and recovered quickly from the pandemic-induced downturn. Because this workforce is highly skilled and educated, employees—including those in accounting and finance—were able to quickly adapt to remote work and boost employment 4.6% in 2021.

Colorado is one of the “most innovative, educated and entrepreneurial states” according to the Business Economic Outlook report, and therefore, positioned to fare well as we emerge from the pandemic. We’ve seen the same here at TGRP Solutions—thriving companies in many different industries, a demand for qualified, talented professionals, and seemingly no slowdown in demand all around. We’re excited about the opportunities for our clients and our candidates in 2022.

If you’re a company looking to tackle big projects in 2022 and need additional support in the way of skilled accounting and finance consultants or you want to hire a full-time employee, contact us. Similarly, if you’re an accounting or finance professional looking for your next opportunity, your timing is good. Contact one of our recruiters to discuss!

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones, cheers to 2021, and let’s make 2022 the best yet!

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