Colorado’s oil, gas, mining jobs not predicted to come back in 2017

All but Colorado’s natural resources and mining industry are predicted to see gains.
2 min. read
A fracking rig on Colorado’s Front Range. (Kevin J. Beaty) front range; energy; fracking; oil and gas; kevinjbeaty;

A fracking rig on Colorado's Front Range. (Kevin J. Beaty)

Nearly all of the industries in Colorado are expected to grow next year, according to a new economic outlook from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business.

The exception: The state's natural resources and mining sector.

CU economists forecast Colorado coal companies and oil and gas producers have another difficult year ahead.

Some in the state hope the results of the recent presidential election will mean a revitalization for coal and other energy jobs. Since crude oil prices started to plummet in 2014, roughly 10,800 natural resources and mining workers have lost their jobs.

That trend is expected to continue — albeit less dramatically — in 2017, according to the report.

"While the value of production is expected to increase on slightly higher prices, industry employment is expected to decrease modestly—less than 1 percent, with year-over-year increases in the second half of the year," the outlook states.

Overall, the forecast calls for a gain of 63,400 jobs in Colorado in 2017.

The state is expected to add far more service jobs than manufacturing positions. From 2006–2016, the state added 329,200 services-producing jobs, while the total goods-producing employment has fallen by 12,200 jobs across the same period.

“Colorado will continue to rank among the top 10 states nationally for employment growth in 2017, a six-year standing,” economist Richard Wobbekind said in a statement. “And it is poised for continued long-term growth, boasting a skilled workforce and high-tech, diversified economy; relatively low cost of doing business; global economic access and exceptional quality of life.”

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