Colorado's leisure and hospitality industry has added more jobs over the past year than University of Colorado economists had expected.

CU report: Colorado economy on target for 2016 growth projections

BOULDER — Colorado’s economy continues to expand and outperform the nation’s, just not quite at the same pace as 2014 and 2015, according to a 2016 midyear report released Friday by the University of Colorado Boulder’s business school.

Colorado employment at the end of May was up 2.4 percent year over year. And the state is projected to add about 62,000 jobs for 2016, about what CU economists projected coming into the year. But not every sector is performing individually quite like the CU researchers had predicted.

“Our original forecast for 2016 is similar to what we’re in fact seeing, but there are some sectors that are doing better than we anticipated and some that aren’t doing as well,” economist Richard Wobbekind, executive director of the CU business school’s Business Research Division, said in a release. “There’s been more growth in government jobs and leisure and hospitality than we’d anticipated. And we certainly are seeing significant flows of venture capital particularly into software and applications-types of areas.”

Wobbekind said job growth continues to occur across all sectors in the state except for natural resources and mining, which includes the oil and gas industry. Natural resources and mining has lost 16.8 percent of its jobs in the state year over year to fall to 26,300.

The leisure and hospitality sector has grown 5 percent year over year, adding 15,500 jobs since May 2015. The construction industry, meanwhile, has added more than 10,000 jobs year over year, though is still below pre-recession levels.

As for international trade, Colorado exports were down 11.1 percent year over year in April. The state’s top five import markets are Canada, Mexico, China, Japan and Malaysia.

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