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Colorado Springs Employment - The Outlook for Colorado Springs Employment

housing incentives increase economic

Colorado Springs employment might represent too much of a good thing. Colorado Springs boasts a thriving downtown district, an educated youthful work force and experienced over a 25% population boost. All this wrapped up in the scenic setting in the foothills of Pikes Peak and the majestic Rocky Mountains. Named #1 Best Places to Live by Money magazine in 2006 and # 1 in Outside’s America’s Best Cities in 2009, Colorado Springs employment should be booming, right? Not so much.

The unemployment rate is still on the rise in Colorado Springs, settling at 8.6% compared to the state average of 8%. For a city that looks so good on paper, why isn’t the Colorado Springs employment rate on the increase? The answer is probably a mix of reasons involving complex numbers but essentially, it does register in the category of “too much of a good thing”. Take a look at the following statistics.

Facts about Colorado Springs
*recent population increase of 27% since 1990
*the military employs nearly one fifth of the population
*a major tourism center averaging about one billion dollars each year
*home to US Air Force Academy
*largest employer is the US Army base, Fort Collins. Other major employers are Fort Peterson, the Air Force Academy and North American Air Defense Command.
*major center for aerospace research and high tech jobs
*attracted new businesses and expanded three existing business parks

Although the summary appears to look good on paper, local economists trace a big partt of the Colorado Springs employment problem to housing shortages and related issues as a result of the population growing too quickly. In addition to problems with affordable housing, the percentage increase in people far exceeded the increase in available jobs. Too many people moving to the area too quickly also placed stress on the city’s infrastructure which was already burdened.

Due to the temporary nature of the negative influences on the economy, experts remain optimistic about the outlook for the Colorado Springs employment picture. They contend that new businesses drawing in new workers will eventually be a positive factor. It just takes time to build new affordable housing. In the long run, the need for new housing will eventually help employment numbers. More seasonal construction workers and contractors will be hired to build homes. New housing will spur increased sales in related businesses. The positive influence should ripple out to other areas.

Another positive factor for the Colorado Springs employment outlook is the impact of incentive programs in the city. El Paso County provides job credits for research and development, creation of new jobs and other incentives due to the county’s status as an Urban Enterprise Zone. In addition, both public and private perks designed for targeted companies are offered as incentives for businesses willing to relocate to Colorado Springs. Those incentives come from the Greater Colorado Springs Economic Develop Council.

The Colorado Springs employment scene should grow due to new incentives offering low corporate tax rates for new industry. Training programs should aid in molding the workforce to qualify for high tech jobs. Opportunities for foreign investment in the state and to the city from the Colorado Office of Business Development and International Trade Zone should help reflect economic growth. The Colorado Quality Investment Capital program is yet another opportunity to increase the numbers for Colorado Springs employment.

According to the Greater Colorado Springs Economic Development Corporation, several other incentive programs should assist in increasing the Colorado Springs employment numbers. The Colorado Flexible Industry Related Start-up Training program and the Corporate Workforce and funding for training from the Economic Development Center through Pikes Peak Community College are just a few.

Considering the available incentives and soon-to-be completed affordable housing projects, the Colorado Springs employment status should mirror the state trend of lower unemployment rates. It’s difficult to predict the consequences of too much of a good thing but economists say key factors point to further economic recovery for the area.

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almost 5 years ago

I stay in the area and am aware of the issues we have to deal with here. Colorado Springs come with a well-educated, young, and willing labor force. The management of labor is excellent with a low level of unionization. There has also been a major spurt in high-tech jobs in the city in the last few years. Another trend I am aware of is a shortage of affordable housing and a demand for skilled workers. For now, the local infrastructure seems a bit strained.

But this is expected to bounce back to normal. I believe that the new incentives for industry would have a positive impact on the employment scene in the area. The current housing shortages and the high rate of population growth are at best temporary in nature.

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over 4 years ago

Various Factoring Company should grow due to new finance fund offering low corporate interest rates for new industry.

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over 4 years ago

Various Factoring Company should grow due to new finance fund offering low corporate interest rates for new industry.