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10 Days of #COS: #3 Strong Economy


Strong Economic Markers Point to Strong Market for Jobs, Businesses

Unemployment Under 4%, Over 7,700 New Jobs Created

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – With unemployment hovering under 4% and 7,776 new jobs created between Q2 2015 and Q2 2016*, Colorado Springs closes out the year with an extremely healthy economy. Industries contributing the most new jobs include health and social services, accommodations and food, education and professional/technical services.

As of October 2016, the median salary for jobs posted in the Colorado Springs MSA was over $66,000. Registered Nurse was the most in-demand job, with 876 openings. Customer service representative was second (724 jobs), followed by software engineer (718 jobs).  

The most recent local data available is for October and it shows the Colorado Springs’ unemployment rate (3.5%) was significantly lower than the national rate in that month (4.7%). Figures are not seasonally adjusted.

“Between a number of new businesses choosing to move or expand their operations here, and the healthy growth of Colorado Springs’ existing economy, the outlook for job-seekers in our city is very positive,” said Bob Cope, Economic Development director for the City of Colorado Springs. “We look forward to another great year in 2017, with expected growth in the medical and cyber sectors as highlights.”

Population growth projections by the State Demography Office show El Paso County as one of the top growing regions. The U.S. population has been growing at a 0.7% rate of increase since 2011, whereas El Paso County has been growing at 1.9% since the early 2000s.

Home Prices Up*

Home values in the region increased 8.9% in Q3, compared to one year ago. This is a sharp increase from the 5.9% increase in Q2.

Ø  The price appreciation elevated the Colorado Springs MSA ranking in the past quarter from 34th to 31st

Ø  In Q2, the median home price in Colorado Springs was $259,300, and in Q3, the median price was $264,700.

Ø  From November 2013 to November 2016, there has been a 76% increase in regional home sales (709 to 1,196 homes sold).

Ø Monthly building permits for multi-family dwellings has had sharp increases over the past two months. In all, 604 multi-family permits were granted this year.

Tourism Gives a Boost*

The 12-month Hotel Occupancy Rate in Colorado Springs continues to move upwards. From October, 2013 to October, 2016, this metric has increased by 30%. RevPAR (hotel occupancy * average room rate) has increased 49%. This is not only favorable for the industry, it also positively impacts restaurants, retail, and tax revenue.

The 12-month (moving average) hotel occupancy rate continues to move upwards. From November 2013 to November 2016, this metric increased 21%. RevPAR (hotel occupancy * average room rate) has increased 34% during that same time period. This is not only favorable for the industry, it also positively impacts restaurants, retail, and tax revenue.

Development Trends Continue

Over 4,000 residential building permits (3,473 single family) were issued in 2016, pointing to continued development. Colorado Springs saw several significant economic development projects move forward in 2016. Among them:

  •         Children’s Hospital broke ground in late November
  •         The stalled Colorado Crossing project was sold, paving the way for redevelopment
  •         The “Wasatch Apartment” complex has cranes onsite, adding to downtown residential development.
  •         The National Cybersecurity Center named a new Executive Director and continues its path forward.
  •         Urban Renewal work has begun in the South Nevada Area
  •         The Catalyst Campus opened on west Pikes Peak as a haven for entrepreneurs and business

*Tatiana Bailey of the UCCS Economic Forum contributed to this report.