Colorado Adds Manufacturing Jobs For Third Straight Year

Aug. 21, 2013
Colorado is now home to 6,510 manufacturers and 210,050 related jobs.

Colorado manufacturers reports the state gained 3,513 industrial jobs or 1.7% between June 2012 and June 2013 - - one and a half percentage points above the national average gain as reported by the Labor Department for the same time period.

Colorado is now home to 6,510 manufacturers and 210,050 related jobs, according to a report from Manufacturers’ News.

“The state’s winning mix of an educated workforce, friendly business environment and abundant natural resources has helped the state to boost exports and expand hiring,” explains Tom Dubin, president of Manufacturer’s News.

Bright spots over the year included the expansion of Epic Brewing’s brewery in Denver; the recent announcement that a joint venture of ConAgra Foods, Cargill, and CHS will open a headquarters in Denver under the name of Ardent Mills; the expansion of Terumo BCT’s manufacturing location in Lakewood.

In addition, recent reports show Colorado increased its exports by 11.3% in 2012, a record for the state, and more than triple the national average gain for the same time period.

According to the industrial directory, electronics manufacturing remains the state’s largest sector by factory employment, accounting for 24,103 jobs, up about a half percent over the year.

Food products manufacturing accounts for another 24,010 jobs, up one percent.

Third-ranked industrial machinery and equipment employs 21,200 workers, up 7.5%.

Other industrial sectors that gained jobs included oil & gas extraction, up 7.9%; petroleum products, up 3.5%; stone/clay/glass, up 3.3%; instruments/related products, also up 3.3%; fabricated metals, up 2.3%; and transportation equipment, up 1.7%. Losses were seen in paper products, down 2.7%; chemicals, down 2.4%; furniture/fixtures, down 1.9%; and textiles/apparel down 1%.

Losses for the state included the closure of a Hostess bakery in Denver and GE’s cancellation of its plans to build a solar panel factory near Denver.

Northeast Colorado accounts for 134,770 of the state’s industrial jobs, up 1.2% over the year. Northwest Colorado accounts for 62,114, up 3.9% over the survey period. The Southwest region is home to 6,946 industrial jobs, down 3.8%, while the Southeast is home to 6,220, up the most at 4.9%.

Colorado’s top cities by manufacturing employment all posted gains over the year. Denver remains the state’s top city for manufacturing employment with 41,070 industrial workers, up 1.9% over the past twelve months. Colorado Springs accounts for 18,046 jobs, up 1.6%. Englewood ranks third in the state with 13,641 industrial workers, up a half percent. Employment increased 3.2% in Boulder, with the fourth-ranked city home to 11,879 industrial jobs, while Littleton accounts for 9,567 jobs, up one percent.

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