Trailing Spouse - Job Hunting
Many people relocate to Denver each year for work. They often bring their family and spouse, who may or may not be relocating with their own job. For the trailing spouse, nothing is more important than finding a job. This section will help the trailing spouse prepare to look for a job and give an overview of the Denver job market.

Denver Job Market
Denver often is considered one of the best places in the country to live and work both for its location and business friendly atmosphere. Home to the headquarters of nine Fortune 500 companies, Denver was ranked the fourth-best city for jobseekers in 2013. Denverites work hard to maintain a high quality of life and a stable economy. The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (www.metrodenver.org) monitors the region’s economy and encourages business growth and development throughout. Their hard work is paying off—Denver didn’t fare as bad as other cities and metros around the nation during the recent economic crisis. Forbes also rated the Denver metro the fifth best city for business and careers in 2013 based on projected growth rates.

Seven major industries drive Denver’s economy.
  • Aerospace: The Denver area ranks first among the 50 largest metros with 19,600 people employed in the industry. Colorado has the nation’s second largest aerospace economy as it is home to four military commands, eight major space contractors and more than 400 aerspace companies and suppliers.
  • Aviation: Between the Denver International Airport and three reliever airports, the Denver area provides a solid foundation for its 15,910 aviation workers.
  • Bioscience: The area supports 10 higher education institutions with bioscience programs. Combined with the area’s opportunities at the 578-acre, $5-biullion Fitzsimons Life Science District, and Anschutz Medical Campus, the bioscience industry flourishes.
  • Broadcasting and telecommunications: Denver’s Mountain time zone makes it the largest U.S. region with one-bounce satellite uplinks that provide companies with real-time connections to six of the seven continents. The region also ranks sixth out of the 50 largest metros for employment in the industry.
  • Energy: The integration of “cleantech” and the state’s rich energy resource base places the region at the forefront of energy development. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden is the U.S. Department of Energy’s laboratory for renewable energy and energy-efficiency research and development.
  • Financial services: This region is one of the few outside of the Northeast with a substantial financial services industry in three key market segments. Trade associations and service firms support the diverse financial services base of more than 13,020 companies and 87,750 employees.
  • Health and wellness: Employment in the health care and wellness industry has grown consistently since 2006, increasing 22.1 percent in the last five years, with 176,460 employed in 18,260 companies.
  • Information technology and software: Metro Denver has the 10th highest concentration of high-tech workers of the 50 largest metro areas. A strong entrepreneurial spirit fuels this industry and employs around 43,230 workers.

The largest employer in the Denver metro area is Lockheed Martin Space Systems with more than 10,000 employees. There are more industries than these seven that contribute to Denver’s economy, including the government, education and accommodation industries. Jobseekers will find many opportunities for employment across a wide range of industries.

Regional Workforce
Out of 2.8 million people, the Denver metro has a total nonfarm regional workforce of 1.26 million. Denver also boasts of having one of the most educated workforces in the U.S. Around 36 percent of metro Denver residents have a bachelors degree or higher. It’s not surprising, given Denver’s large IT industry. According to a 2010 study by TechAmerica Foundation, Denver ranked third in the United States for concentration of high-tech jobs. But, as of the end of 2012, trade, transportation and utilities was the industry in Denver that employed the largest number of people at around 245,100. Professional and business services was next at around 218,000, government with 176,400 employees and education and health care services with 158,000.

Area Growth
Like the rest of the nation, Denver is slowly bouncing back from the sluggish economy. With a stable housing market and unemployment rate that is lower than the national average, Denver doesn’t have far to go.

The Top 10 fastest growing public and private businesses in 2012 based on three-year growth statistics in Denver include the following:
  1. Altitude Digital Partners (4,380 percent)
  2. The Premier Group (2,648 percent)
  3. Rivet Softeware (2,011 percent)
  4. Tempus Nova (2,002 percent)
  5. Motivity Solutions (1,736 percent)
  6. Recondo Technology (1,619 percent)
  7. OverstockDeals.com (1,615 percent)
  8. Prodigy Resources (1,149 percent)
  9. Smashburger (928 percent)
  10. ShopAtHome.com (877 percent)

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industries in the Denver metro area with the biggest workforce increases from the end of 2011 to the end of 2012 included education and health services (5.7 percent) and leisure and hospitality (5.5 percent). Close behind were financial activities (4.8 percent) and mining, logging and construction (4.7 percent). Less active but still on the upswing are manufacturing (2.8 percent), trade, transportation and utilities (2.6 percent) and professional and business services (1.9 percent). The only industries that saw a decrease in employment were government at (-0.6 percent) and information services (-1.4 percent).

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