Colorado is poised to do well as far as jobs are concerned over the next 20 years, national economist William Fruth told a Metro North Chamber of Commerce crowd Nov. 14 in Broomfield. Fruth, of …
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Colorado is poised to do well as far as jobs are concerned over the next 20 years, national economist William Fruth told a Metro North Chamber of Commerce crowd Nov. 14 in Broomfield.
Fruth, of POLICOM, a national economics research and advocacy group, said the Colorado employers are already doing well in the top categories of the 20 jobs and careers expected to grow over the next 20 years.
“The seeds for your future are well planted,” Fruth told the room. “You will have one of the best, if government doesn’t screw it up. It’s just going to be dynamic and you will safely be one of the top ten strongest economies in the United States.”
Fruth joined Patty Silverstien, president and chief economist of Littleton-based economics research firm Development Research Partners on stage at Broomfield’s Noah’s Event Center Nov. 14, the featured speakers at the Metro North Chamber of Commerce annual Economic Forecast Breakfast.
The pair painted a rosy outlook. Silverstien discounted anyone who expects the economy to start slowing down.
“An economy does not get tired,” she said. “There is no reason to expect it to do anything but keep growing.”
Both economists pinned their outlook on a blooming employment market. Colorado’s employment is already growing faster than the national average, led by regions north of Denver, especially Boulder. Adams, Weld and Broomfield counties all continue to lead the metro area in job growth.
Fruth outlined the basics of trickle-down economics: A regional economy generally just moves wealth around itself. Wealth that leaves the region tends to make the regional economy smaller and the only way to grow is to bring new money in from outside -- through bigger industries, more jobs and providing products people outside the region want. That creates more wealth that can be stirred around the regional economy.
The U.S. economy grew until the 1970s when the trade deficit began draining wealth. That accelerated when manufacturing jobs left.
Other countries and economies prospered because they could provide cheap labor compared to the United States. That’s poised to change, in the country’s favor.
“Technology has entered everything, making it all faster, better, cheaper,” he said. “It’s to the point that it’s entered manufacturing, and manufacturing has embraced technology. The modern manufacturing facility today is robotized, software-driven. It needs a fewer number of workers. But it needs an educated workforce.”
That need highlights the United State’s advantage.
“Manufacturers are not going to be dependent on cheap labor,” he said.
Technical industries and manufacturing will begin returning to the U.S., he predicted.
“So let’s look at Denver,” he said. “How are you doing with these targeted industries?”
He listed 20 different careers that he said would lead a new economy, from software development to IT consulting to transportation, industrial machinery manufacturing, chemical, medical equipment manufacturing.
“You have a presence in every one of the 20 top industries,” he said.
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