CU economists expect slow, steady growth in 2011

DENVER — Colorado should add about 10,100 jobs next year after losing more than 140,000 jobs the past two years, according to a forecast released today by University of Colorado economists.

Nevertheless, that won’t be enough to lower the unemployment rate, Richard Wobbekind of CU’s Leeds School of Business said. He expected slow, steady growth in both the national and Colorado economies.

His team expects job losses in the government, construction, manufacturing and information sectors next year, but other sectors should grow.

The higher-paying professional and business services sector is projected to grow the most with about 7,000 new jobs. That sector includes engineers and computer systems designers.

The tourism industry will be recovering in 2011, Wobbekind said. He expected moderate increases in hotel occupancy rates, room rates, casino revenues and skier visits.

CU economists expect Colorado’s unemployment rate to grow to 8.8 percent for 2011, up from around 8.2 percent at the end of 2010.


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