Information about Golden, Jefferson County, and the Denver MSA



Noted Economist Patricia Silverstein Provides View of Our Economy


In late March, Patricia Silverstein, president of Development Research Partners, provided a thorough look at our area’s economy at a special Economic Forecast event offered by the Government Affairs Committee of the West Chamber. 


Just a few of the latest facts and statistics she presented include:



  • There are 3.1 million people in the 7-county area of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson Counties.
  • This 7-county area grows by about 50,000 people per year.
  • Of that figure, 20,000 is from natural increase (births-deaths); 30,000 is from net migration (people moving into the area-people moving out)
  • 50% of the in-migration is comprised of millennials (ages 18 – 34)
  • Jefferson County skews older – millennials are not as prevalent here as in other counties like Boulder and Denver.


  • In case you haven’t heard, housing is scarce and expensive.  (At the West Chamber event where Silverstein spoke, a Realtor told of how one house on the market last week had 48 offers.)
  • Boulder metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is the 7th most expensive housing market in the country
  •  Denver MSA is # 16
  • The high cost and scarcity of housing here hurts our ability to attract large and small corporations from the outside, even though we offer an attractive lifestyle.


Quoting from new figures released just 2 weeks ago, Silverstein said:

  • Colorado has the 13th fastest rate of employment growth in the country
  • Ft. Collins MSA currently has the best employment growth rate in Colorado at about 3.5%
  • Metro Denver employment is increasing 2.5% - the IT software area is growing at a rate of about 9.5%
  • Jefferson County usually runs about .5% lower in employment growth rate than Metro Denver
  • 25% of employment in Colorado is by sole proprietors and this is not counted in employment figures.

In Jefferson County:

  • We have a 2.5% unemployment rate, which is a challenge for businesses to find workers
  • On average, our workers saw a 6% increase in their wages last year
  • 10% of the typical household debt level is student loans
  • JeffCo’s industry concentration is comprised of: aerospace (Colorado is the 2nd largest aerospace industry in the U.S. after California), aviation, beverage production, medical device & diagnostics, cleantech, and outdoor recreation.
  • The four main trading partners for Colorado continue to be Canada, Mexico, China, and Japan.

The Challenges we face in our 7-county area and throughout the country include:

  • Global uncertainty – political challenges
  • Rising interest rates and inflation rates
  • Unclear future of taxes and healthcare
  • Aging transportation infrastructure
  • Lack of affordable Housing

Our Opportunities:

  • More consumer confidence
  • Strong job growth continues
  • Technology driving major changes
  • Active commercial real estate market


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