Tuesday, April 19, 2011

State of Working Colorado: What does Colorado’s workforce look like?

The labor force is defined as people with jobs and those looking for jobs. In December 2009 there were 2.6 million people in the Colorado labor force, out of a working-age population of 3.9 million and a total population of roughly 5 million. Of those in the labor force, 55 percent were men, 70 percent of workers were 24 to 55 years old, and three-quarters where white. (Figure 4) The largest minority group in the state’s labor force was Hispanics (16 percent), followed by blacks (4 percent) and Asian / Pacific Islanders (2 percent). (Figure 4)

Colorado is an educated state with an educated workforce. Compared to other states, Colorado ranks third in the number of bachelor’s degrees in the general population and ninth in the number of advanced degree holders. Nearly 70 percent of the labor force has attended at least some college, and 40 percent holds a college degree or advanced degree. Only 9 percent of Colorado’s labor force has not completed high school. (Figure 4)

While the state boasts one of the most educated workforces in the country, Colorado kids have below-average rates of college attendance and completion. That ―Colorado Paradox‖ means much of the state’s highly-educated workforce comes from other parts of the country.
For more insights, including detailed policy recommendations for enhancing economic security for all Coloradans, check out the State of Working Colorado 2010.

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