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Top Insights in the Colorado Job Market — A Look Back at 2022

2022 has been a spectacular year for the Colorado job market (at least from the viewpoint of the job seeker), with a reported nearly twice as many job openings as there as job seekers, giving people across the country yet another reason to move to the great state, home of the Rockies.

If you’ve been contemplating a move to Colorado, or if you currently live in Colorado and are considering making a career change, now is an excellent time to do so. Companies in Denver, such as Wells Fargo, AT&T, and Amazon, are hiring. From tech to finance, retail, and the healthcare industry, opportunities abound in Colorado.

In this short article, we’ll take a look at the Colorado job market and the projections going into next year.

READ — How to Successfully Recruit Talent Today

Why Are There so Many Jobs?

The labor shortage (or abundance of work opportunities, depending on how you see it) is not unique to Colorado. Although the Colorado job market has been experiencing a greater number of job openings remaining unfilled, this phenomenon is being recorded all across the country.

Several factors are contributing to the high number of job openings compared to the number of job seekers:

Post-Covid Shake-Up

During the economic turmoil that was the Covid-19 pandemic and consequential lockdowns, many workers were either laid off or switched to remote work. Following the pandemic, as many companies went back to full strength, there has been a rush to try and fill the many open positions. However, a significant number of workers have taken to their new status as under-employer or freelance and are choosing not to return to the workforce.

The Great Resignation

Starting from the spring of 2021, we have seen a record number of workers voluntarily leave their jobs in what industry experts have coined The Great Resignation.

READ — The Great Resignation’s Untapped Talent: The Autism Community

High GDP and Economic Growth

In contrast to many of the states in the Union, Colorado has been experiencing economic growth. This, in turn, has led to businesses either moving to Colorado or increasing their investments in the region.

The Public Sector

The labor shortage has hit both the public and the private sector hard. Private sector jobs, such as with the Department of Corrections, have proven tough to fill. In fact, the Colorado Sun reports that the Department of Corrections has had to scale back on vaccine mandates in order to try to fill job openings. As of September 2022, they still have nearly 1,700 jobs to fill.

The public sector job board, State of Colorado Job Opportunities, has openings in pretty much all areas of public service: law enforcement, education, and athletic associations, to name a few.

In addition to an increase in the number of public sector jobs available, we are seeing restrictions being lifted (such as vaccine mandates) and an increase in the compensation offered.

The Private Sector

In August of 2022, unemployment went up in 32 states. However, in Colorado, unemployment rose by only .1%, a significantly lower rise than in other states in the union. And over the past 12 months, the unemployment rate in Colorado has fallen by almost 2 percentage points. Colorado now ranks as the state with the 2nd highest worker participation rate in the country. 

Over the past 12 months, nearly 107,000 jobs have been added in the private sector alone.

Screen Shot 2022 11 28 At 10423 Pm
Graph provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and taken from this site.

The private sector industries that have recorded the greatest amount of job growth include manufacturing (no doubt as a consequence of government initiatives to help American-made products), transportation, construction and engineering, and utilities, with health and education not far behind.

In addition to more jobs being added to the market, we are seeing an increase in compensation and a decrease in restrictions (such as vaccine mandates which have largely been lifted). This is due mainly to the fact that companies are scrambling to fill positions in the midst of an unprecedented labor shortage.

The Salary Transparency Law

In an effort to combat wage inequally between male and female members of the workforce, Colorado enacted the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. This act went into effect in January 2021. The law requires all companies state-wide to disclose salary ranges in their job offers. The law also requires companies to perform regular pay audits and keep detailed accounts

The law aims to reduce – if not eliminate – wage discrimination through actionable measures in transparency and accountability.

The Bottom Line

While many states in the union are showing signs of economic downturn, the Colorado job market is particularly favorable for job seekers. There are twice as many job openings as there are people looking for work. Across both the public and the private sectors, we are seeing companies and institutions raise compensation and decrease restrictions in an effort to combat the labor shortage. Additionally, a new law went into effect in 2021 to help prevent wage discrimination through transparency and accountability.


Russell RidgewayRussell Ridgeway is an American writer based in Budapest, Hungary. He writes in business, tech, and fashion, as well as creative fiction. You can reach him by email ([email protected]), or on LinkedIn and other social media platforms.

For Graduates this Spring, Job Insights this Year

If you are lucky enough to be graduating this month, congratulations! Your timing could not be better.

This is one of the best job markets in recent history. Just ask those who had to look for a job in May of 2009 in the throes of the Great Financial Crisis or in March of 2020 during the COVID-19 shutdown. Per April, both Colorado and the nation’s unemployment rate is 3.6% and wages are rising after decades of stagnant growth. Knowing this, how do you find a job and what do you look for?

How to Find a Job

There are several ways to find a job these days. Once you have determined the type of industry in which you would like to pursue a career and your corresponding location, search online for companies that may be of interest. See if any of your family or friends know people who work at these companies. If they know someone, great! If not, talk to a recruiter in the industry.

We (at Beacon Pointe Advisors) hired an amazing employee from LinkedIn three years ago, who had no experience in financial services but was intelligent, eager to learn, and interviewed incredibly well. Our most recent hire found us through a job posting on Indeed. A third recent graduate and new hire was referred by one of our current employees. We interviewed him on Zoom because of our employee’s personal recommendation.

Remote or On-Site Job

One of the most dramatic changes as a result of COVID-19 has been the ability to work from just about anywhere. When searching for opportunities, it’s important to consider the remote working policy of each potential employer and whether or not it aligns with your needs.

Employers today must be more accommodating in terms of their employees coming into the office or working from home. Two or three days in the office seem to be the norm these days. But if working from home is what you’re aiming for, that may also be negotiable. Ask what the company policy is upfront, so there are no misunderstandings after you start.

Pay or Experience

I have always told new graduates that the first job is the hardest one to get. Once you have that initial job secured, you can make contacts in your industry and network to find better opportunities in the future.

Is your goal to have the largest starting salary, or to accept a position in your field of interest, even if it is entry-level?

Personally, I always accepted the position with the best, long-term prospects or that offered the best leadership, even if it wasn’t the highest paying. Also, starting salaries are usually similar across different industries, but what may vary are healthcare options, 401(k) matches, or PTO policies. Be sure to ask about these benefits and compare overall compensation from each offer to help you decide which company is a better fit.

Clean Up Social Media Sites

Transparency is the price we pay for being on social media. This can act as a double-edged sword. What you did in college at the last fraternity or sorority party might have been fun at the time, but it may not be so appealing to your future employer. Go back and clean up your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok accounts. Delete anything that may not be viewed in the best light from the perspective of a potential employer or their clients.


As someone who reviews a high volume of resumes, reading a two-page resume from a recent college graduate is not favorable. Less is more. Odds are you haven’t worked in a professional capacity for very long since you just graduated from college. Keep your resume to one page and cover the basics: education, career aspirations, and relevant courses you took in college. That being said, also include interesting aspects unique to you, such as where you went to high school, what activities you were involved in during college aside from academia, as well as your hobbies.

Did you work to pay for your education? Do you have athletic accomplishments? Did you study abroad? Can you speak languages other than English?

With an entry-level position, your employer will train you while on the job. Nobody expects you to know what to do on day-one. Employers typically want someone who is eager, is teachable, works hard, is honest, and who works well with others. Writing well, speaking articulately, and treating others with respect will go a long way toward being successful.

Thank You Note

After you finish an interview either via Zoom or in-person, follow up within the next day with a thank-you email or handwritten note. Old fashioned? Maybe. Smart? Yes. These days, nothing differentiates you more from the pack than an overt appreciation of other people’s time.

Recently, we had a college graduate not only send us a thank-you note after just a Zoom interview, but he also sent the entire office a basket of fruit thanking us for our time. My partner was so impressed by this follow-up, we are now bringing him back for a second interview in-person with the entire team. We weren’t thinking of hiring him before, but now we are considering the possibility of making some room on the team.

Finding a job after you graduate from college is a job unto itself. The great news today? There are two jobs available for every person looking, so you can afford to be picky. Do your homework and ask a lot of questions while interviewing. Just as with anything in life, the best jobs will be the most desirable and competitive to get. Good luck!


Thumbnail Fred Taylor HeadshotFred Taylor is a managing director and partner of Beacon Pointe Advisors’ Denver office. He helps individuals and families build wealth, live off their wealth and leave a legacy for future generations. A former economic advisor to Governor Bill Ritter, Fred has more than 35 years of financial services experience.


Important Disclosure:
Frederick Taylor is a Partner, Managing Director at Beacon Pointe Advisors, LLC. The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only. Opinions referenced are as of the publication date and may be modified due to changes in the market or economic conditions and may not necessarily come to pass. Forward-looking statements cannot be guaranteed. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Beacon Pointe has exercised all reasonable professional care in preparing this information. The information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable; however, Beacon Pointe has not independently verified or attested to the accuracy or authenticity of the information. The discussions, outlook, and viewpoints featured are not intended to be investment advice and do not consider specific investment objectives or risk tolerance you may have. All investments involve risks, including the loss of principal. Consult your financial professional for guidance specific to your circumstances.