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Industryweek 9378 Colorado Rockies

Manufacturing Jobs Climb in the Rocky Mountain State

Sept. 4, 2015
The food processing and industrial machinery sectors showed the highest gains.

Led by the food-processing sector, Colorado saw manufacturing jobs grow from June 2014 to June 2015.

This is the fifth straight year the Rocky Mountain State has seen a boost in manufacturing employment, according to  the 2016 Colorado Manufacturers Directory, an industrial database and directory published by Manufacturers’ News, Inc. (MNI). Colorado added 3,839 industrial jobs from June 2014 to June 2015, an increase of 1.8%.

Colorado is now home to 6,228 manufacturers employing 213,863 workers. MNI data shows over a five-year period beginning June of 2010, the state gained 14,370 industrial jobs or 7.2%, recovering the nearly 11,000 jobs shed during the recession.

“Colorado’s industrial base has reinvented itself following the recession’s steep losses,” said Tom Dubin, president of MNI, in a statement. “The state gets high marks for its focus on innovation, while its educated labor pool and abundant natural resources continue to draw investment in a variety of sectors.”

Job growth was led by the food processing sector, which climbed 4.3% over the year, and now accounts for the largest share of Colorado’s manufacturing employment, with 25,674 jobs. Employment in the state’s second-largest sector, industrial machinery, also posted a gain, up 6.7% to its current level of 23,049 jobs.

Other industries in Colorado gaining jobs included oil/gas extraction, up 3.9%; fabricated metals, up 3.8%; medical instruments/related products, up 2.1%; lumber/wood, up 1.4%; and primary metals, up 1.1%. Offsetting gains were paper products, down 4.8%; and petroleum products, down 4.2%.

Manufacturing jobs in Denver rose 3% over the year, with the city currently home to the most industrial employment, at 42,451. Other Colorado cities gaining manufacturing jobs include Boulder, up 1.7% and Littleton, up 1%. 

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