Posts tagged table
Boulder County Commissioners extend temporary moratorium on oil & gas development in unincorporated Boulder County for 18 months
Citing a changing regulatory environment and the need for more public health studies to assess the health impacts of oil and gas development, the County Commissioners voted unanimously to extend the moratorium until the end of 2014
Boulder County, Colo. – By unanimous decision, the Board of County Commissioners today voted to extend the temporary moratorium on oil and gas development in unincorporated Boulder County for 18 months to expire at the end of 2014.
Citing the need for further health and safety studies to test the impacts of oil and gas development on air and water quality, the commissioners stated that the county is not yet prepared – in terms of inspection and monitoring staff, health data, baseline testing and technical expertise – to process new applications for oil and gas development in unincorporated Boulder County.
The commissioners also noted that with a dynamic regulatory environment around the issue, new rulemaking could affect how the county regulates oil and gas under its own authority in the future.
“We are living in a regulatory environment where regulations and rules are changing rapidly,” said County Commissioner Deb Gardner. “A short delay in extraction is legal, necessary and appropriate when balanced against our fundamental duty as elected officials to protect public health, safety, welfare and the environment from potential adverse impacts of oil and gas exploration and development, and to minimize potential land use conflicts between those activities and current or planned land uses.”
Gardner’s sentiments were supported and confirmed by her fellow commissioners, Cindy Domenico and Elise Jones.
Extensive feedback on the moratorium was received from members of the public over a period of 16 months from February 2012 to the present. Over 1,100 comments were submitted this week alone by the time of the June 18 public hearing, all but about a dozen of which stated a preference for extending the moratorium.
In general, public comments have overwhelmingly supported extending the moratorium to assess health and safety impacts of oil and gas drilling to area residents. In addition, on June 5th the Boulder County Planning Commission, by a vote of 7-0, recommended that the Board of County Commissioners extend the current temporary moratorium.
Today’s public hearing also included a decision to table indefinitely Docket DC-12-0003 “Proposed Amendments to Article 12 of the Boulder County Land Use Code (oil and gas regulations), to include a phasing plan.” With the extended temporary moratorium in place, Land Use staff will to continue to work on developing an inspection and implementation plan for permitting oil and gas applications.
A taped archive of the hearing is available at: www.bouldercounty.org/gov/meetings/pages/hearings.aspx.
For more information about the county’s role in oil and gas development, please visit the county’s Oil and Gas Development webpage.
Boulder police are looking for six male suspects who caused extensive damage to the former Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house, located at 1101 University, in the early-morning hours of November 17, 2012.
Video surveillance captured images of the six suspects throwing rocks and breaking windows while standing outside the former fraternity house, before pushing a table against a wall to gain entry into a room on the second floor. Once inside, the suspects kicked in a wall and set off a fire extinguisher and caused additional damage.
Damage is estimated to be around $70,000. The building is currently vacant.
A white female was seen with the suspects outside the building, but she was not seen entering.
Police are looking for any information that would help identify the suspects. Photos from the surveillance video are attached. The suspects appear to be white males, between 18 and 25 years old. (You can see more photos by clicking here).
The case number is 12-15840.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Kipp Euler at 303-441-3393. Those who have information but wish to remain anonymous may contact the Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-444-3776. Tips can also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website at www.crimeshurt.com. Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect(s) may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers.
Top Hat Supply has thrived at the same downtown Boulder location for 45 years. Top Hat is among the oldest downtown businesses in Boulder. Excelling at customer service, product quality and cleaning solutions. We are proud to be a great resource for the people and businesses of Boulder County and beyond. Not so glamorous, but we love what we do. Helping people find the right product to meet their needs, without waste and with the most efficiency and least harm to our environment. We have solutions, green products, 45 years of experience, free same day delivery and a tremendous product line for such a small space.
1729 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302
As a nationwide drought threatens to drive up prices for food staples this fall, it could pose an even greater challenge for the one in five Americans who weren’t able to afford food so far this year.
For the first six months of 2012, Gallup surveyed 1,000 Americans each day to see whether they’d been able to afford basic food. From the report:
“In 15 states, at least one in five Americans say they struggled to afford the food they needed at least once during the past 12 months. Nationwide, 18.2% of Americans so far in 2012 say there have been times when they could not afford the food they needed, on par with the 18.6% who had trouble affording food in 2011.”
When broken down by states and regions, there were huge discrepancies in responses. From coast to coast, the Southern half of the nation struggled the most by far. Twenty-five percent of Mississippians reported struggling to afford food, the highest total in the country, while just 9.6 percent of North Dakota residents said the same.
And rough waters are still to come.
Within two months, prices for beef, pork, poultry, and dairy will begin to rise and the processed and packaged foods so many low-income families rely on for cheap meals will see prices soar within a year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) department will lift the following raptor closures effective Monday, July 23: Third Flatiron, The Matron, Skunk Canyon, Bear Creek Spire, Flagstaff Mountain, Fern Canyon, and The Sphinx.
The following closures will remain in effect through Tuesday, July 31, to continue to protect nesting raptors: Back Porch and The Box, Mickey Mouse Wall, Kolb, and Coal Creek. OSMP will also be lifting seasonal closures established to protect ground-nesting birds on the originally scheduled date of Tuesday, July 31. However, the property known as Superior Associates—north of the Coalton Trail—will remain closed through Oct. 31 because of the presence of nesting burrowing owls.
This year marked another successful season for raptors nesting on OSMP. Below is a table detailing what OSMP staff and volunteers recorded this season:
|Species||Number of Nesting Attempts||Number of Successful Nesting Attempts||Number of Fledglings|
This year was the most productive year for Peregrine Falcons since OSMP monitoring began in 1984. Volunteer raptor monitors are an integral part of the success of the monitoring program. Thank you to all the volunteer raptor monitors!
OSMP relies heavily on the public to respect the closures and the cooperation of visitors to these areas is greatly appreciated. OSMP would specifically like to highlight the cooperation among the Boulder climbing community with respect to these closures.
Police in Boulder are releasing the attached sketch of the suspect believed to be involved in a strong-arm laptop robbery last Wednesday, May 16, at Foolish Craig’s restaurant. Foolish Craig’s is located at 1611 Pearl St.
Around 9:35 p.m., a male patron was sitting at a table near the door of the restaurant facing the windows, which looked onto Pearl St. The patron told police that a black man entered the restaurant, approached the patron and wrapped his arm around the patron’s neck, shoving his head toward the table. The suspect then grabbed the Apple laptop the patron had been using, and fled the restaurant.
The male victim chased the suspect but lost sight of the suspect when he fell. The victim suffered some cuts and scrapes, but wasn’t seriously injured.
Several people called police to report the robbery, including a patron at Foolish Craig’s and others who saw the suspect running down the street with the computer.
The suspect is described as:
- A black male with very dark skin
- Between 22 and 24 years old
- Approximately 5’7” tall
- Thin build; 140 pounds
- Last seen wearing a red sweatshirt with a light-colored T-shirt underneath, with dark pants
The case number is 12-6609.
by Ron Baird
When I first crossed paths in the early ‘80s with the man who eventually became known as Caballo Blanco, I was running down the Mount Sanitas trail and he was running up. We didn’t speak, maybe nodded.He was wearing thin nylon jogging shorts, running shoes and had a water bottle in his hand. He was tanned and lean and had unruly, long, dirty-blond hair.
In those days I was running 4-5 miles at a time and I would later learn that he was running 15-20. He had a nice-looking, tan, young woman with him. Every time I saw him in the passing years he was dressed the same. Forgive me if it gets fuzzy here because he always seemed a little ghost-like: he was there and then gone like he was barely tethered to the earth. Of course his hero and spirit guide was Geronimo of the Bedonkohe Apache tribe, who was thought to be able to appear and disappear at will. And of course, I wasn’t taking notes.
In 1989, I had been evicted from a mine cabin in James Canyon—the one with only a wood stove for utilities. The small creek passing by was my source of water and kerosene lamps were my only light. I typed my first news story for the Colorado Daily in that cabin under the ever- weakening illumination of those lamps. Micah was moving out of a small room appendaged onto a house on Magnolia Road that was renting for $110 dollars a month. He asked if I was interested. I said I was and rented it. He said he wanted to get out of the winters and was driving to Guatemala.
After that he visited me often when he came back in the summers and told me of running through the mountains and beaches, where camposinos would wave and yell “Caballo Blanco,” due, I guess, to his base skin color and shoulder length blond hair. Micah was a vegetarian and lived frugally by any standard, sleeping in a truck with a camper parked in a north Boulder industrial area. He bought another truck and made money in the summer with an under-the-table moving business—no liability insurance or regulatory approval. Many of his customers were friends. He told me one time he was driving a load of tightly arranged furniture to Colorado Springs but when he got there, a couch that was packed in the open back of the pickup had disappeared; probably popping out somewhere along I-25. He drove back and forth looking but never found it and ultimately had to pay for a replacement.
Each summer, he made enough money to go back to Guatemala. But there was a lot of violence in Guatemala at that time and in the summer of ’93 he met a group of Tarahumara Indios in the Leadville 100 and followed them back to Copper Canyon in the Mexican State of Chihuahua–a canyon larger, deeper and more complex than the U.S.’s Grand Canyon. The Tarahumara, who rejected assimilation with Spanish culture, had migrated thousands of miles from the south over the centuries before reaching that sanctuary. There were no roads, towns or utilities, and little water through much of the canyon so the Tarahumara were spread throughout the canyon.
So a subculture of runners known as Raramuri sprung up, running hundreds of miles in a few days carrying news to the widely spaced villages, or just for fun, and Micah knew he had found his physical if not his spiritual home. He would spend the nights and eat meals in Tarahumara stone huts for as little as two dollars.
He finally built a small adobe home for himself in the canyon. For several years he returned to the U.S. and Colorado particularly. One summer, while racing in the Hardrock 100 near Telluride, he got lost in a snow storm on one of the three passes the race course covered and had to be hauled out on a burro. When found he was wearing two large garbage bags over his shorts and T shirt. One summer, he took up bicycling to give his feet a rest and somehow crashed coming down Left Hand Canyon–knocking himself out. When found, he argued and lost against the ambulance ride, costing him $1,700. At the hospital, they told him he had severely dislocated his shoulder and it would cost $800 to reset it so he checked himself out of the hospital, walked across the parking lot to the office of a chiropractor/friend who set it right there without any sedation.
Micah was more of a philosophical survivalist than political activist but at the request of a Native American girlfriend he went to a large protest at the Nuclear Test Site in Nevada, where he broke through a gap in the security and headed off running into the desert. Seventeen hours later he gave himself up and they escorted him off the site without filing any charges against him.
By early 2000, his moving business was waning under the threats of regulation and sanctions so Micah began to envision—as a way of making a living–guiding “gringos” into Copper Canyon for running vacations. It started slowly but somehow he hung on and more and more people came down. In 2003 Micah organized the first Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon to aid the Raramuri, and invited world-class ultramarathoners to compete. The prizes were generally large amounts of corn. With that race, Micah become somewhat a legend in the distance running community, and Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run brought Micah and the Tarahumara to the world’s attention. No longer was Micah True such a ghostly figure; connected as he was to the world by a best selling book and the internet. And the Tarahumara, their culture, their style of running and their dispossessed status in Mexico–had become a well-known topic internationally.
Given this new-found notoriety, Micah became much in demand as a speaker. He took only expenses and talked mainly about the Tarahumara. On his seasonal migration back to the U.S. this year he stopped in the Gila National Forest in SW New Mexico on his way to Phoenix and took off on a planned 12-mile run. He never returned and was found dead four days later in a ravine. No cause has been determined for his death as of this writing.
But I think it was just his time. He came to Earth as an unwilling Angel and found his cause with the people of Copper Canyon. He died doing what he loved and left a legacy: The ultramarathoner world has vowed to continue the races in Copper Canyon and keep the light shining on the people there. I think Micah’s work was done and his soul is now free from the bonds of gravity.
The Boulder Chamber’s advocacy efforts never rest. We are constantly watching, analyzing and speaking up on your behalf to create a vibrant and supportive economic environment.
Stay up to date on city, county and regional policy discussions that impact your business. Bookmark this page for updates on top advocacy issues, follow us on Twitter @boulderadvocacy and subscribe to the monthly Boulder Business Insider e-Newsletter.
Questions? Contact Angelique Espinoza, Public Affairs Manger at (303) 938-2077.
Boulder Chamber Supports Extension of Wind Production Tax Credit
The Boulder Chamber is supporting the extention of the Wind Production Tax Credit. View our letters to Senators Bennet and Udall. Both Senators have delivered speeches on the floor in support of extending this important Colorado job driver.
Senator Bennet’s on the Wind PTC
Senator Udall’s on the Wind PTC
Boulder’s Energy Future
Chamber Engages on Behalf of Members on Next Steps in Boulder’s Energy Future As Xcel Energy files with the PUC regarding renewable energy and DSM Incentives, and the City convenes business energy users to craft an ongoing input process, the Chamber is engaging with both entities to ensure the needs of our members are represented at the table. If you have input on these, or other advocacy issues, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan. 23, 2012 – Law firm chosen to aid city in potential condemnation proceedings with Xcel Energy read more->
The Boulder Chamber will continue to be at the table as the City evaluates options for its energy supply. With the narrow passage of Ballot Items 2B and 2C, the City Council is empowered to pursue forming a municipal utility. The Chamber supports the City Manager’s committment to caution and meaningful stakeholder input in her Press Release following the election. On December 6th, the City held a rountable with the newly seated Council and staff outlined their near term plans for exploring the feasibility of acquiring the electrical power distribution system from Xcel and forming a municipal power utility. Plans include hiring an Executive Director of Energy Strategy and Electric Utility Development, as well as additional legal and technical support staff. Staff also outlined three possible tiers for Boulder’s Energy Future, from ramping up current conservation and small renewable generation to full scall municipalization. Materials from the meeting are available on the City’s website. The Daily Camera provided this report.
Boulder Channel 1 news thinks the city and the Chamber should have worked out a deal with Xcel which would have led to a clean energy policy with Xcel. They city and chamber will now spend millions if not billions to operate this coal burning fossil.
Pinnacol Assurance Restructuring Proposal Delayed
The Board of Directors for Pinnacol Assurance announced jointly with Governor Hickenlooper that they would not pursue a restructuring proposal to privatize the state’s largest carrier of workers’ compensation insurance during the 2012 Colorado legislative session as previously intended. The Chamber has been following this issue closely since the Colorado businesses insured by Pinnacol have much at stake. Although a specially appointed Task Force spent several months reviewing and receiving input before reporting back the the Governor, many questions remain, such as how restructuring would impact service levels and rates, how to ensure availability of an insurer of last resort, and what happens to the policy holders’ dividends. It is likely that a proposal will come forward for the 2013 session after additional work. For more coverage on this issue, see Ed Sealover’s article in the Denver Business Journal.
State Legislative Update
sponsored by Jensen Public Affairs, Inc.
The opening days of the Colorado legislative session have seen the introduction of several important bills. The Boulder Chamber is currently prioritizing those with the greatest potential to impact the Boulder business community and developing a state legislative agenda for the 2012 session. Check back for ongoing reports on bills of interest to Boulder’s economy.
For the full list of bills under consideration see the following reports:
Bills of Interest->
2012 State Legislative Session Updates from Statewide Chambers:
Colorado Competitive Council (C3)
Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry (CACI)
Boulder Chamber Against PIPA/SOPA
The Boulder Chamber has been following the growing debate over H.R. 3261 the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and S. 968 Protect IP Act (PIPA).While these bills seek to address a real problem of online piracy, the methods used in these bills would undermine freedom of expression, and stifle innovation. Our future prosperity lies in our nation’s ability to remain competitive in the digital age.
The Boulder Valley is the Silicon Valley of the mountain west and the Boulder Chamber will work to defend our innovative economy and its entrepreneurs. To that end, we have asked Senator Bennet to reconsider his cosponorship of the bill. We thank Senator Udall for his opposition to PIPA, and Congressman Polis for his opposition to the House companion bill SOPA. We will follow the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN) bill in the House as a way of better addressing the online piracy issue.
UPDATE: Senator Bennet withdrew as a co-sponsor on January 23rd. The Senate bill was pulled from its scheduled floor vote on the 24 and the House bill’s judiciary committee hearing has been postponed indefinitely. It’s likely these bills are dead for the 112th Congress. Thank you Senator!
Boulder Channel 1 news questions The Chamber wisdom here. The Boulder Anti sopa and anti PIPa crowd are largely criminal hackers who are under investigation by the FBI. The Chamber also heralds the questionable business practices of those involved.
Boulder City Council
The Boulder City Council identified their 2012 priorities at their annual retreat on January 20-21st. The Boulder Chamber hopes to work with this new Council to promote a strong regional economy, and sent this letter for Council’s consideration in advance of their retreat. coverage of the retreat suggests some promising common ground, but also reinforces the importance of the Chamber as an advocate for a strong local economy.
In order to identify areas of common interest between the Boulder business community and City Council, and to identify policy-based opportunities for our organization to better educate and advocate on behalf of our members, we have instituted a Boulder City Council Scorecard to track votes of interest.
City of Boulder Considers Transportation Maintenance Fee
On Tuesday, Jan 24, the Boulder City Council will have a Study Session on a potential Transportation Maintenance Fee (TMF). The Transportation Advisory Board (TAB)has identified an ongoing funding shortfall for Maintenance and Operations, as well as Transportation Enhancements for the City. Although last year’s successful Capital Improvements Project tax will provide one-time funding to address significant deferred maintenance projects, it does not address long-term transportation funding challenges. The TAB has recommended a TMF which would be collected on utility bills and would cost the average household $24 and the average employer $327 per year. We will be following this issue and providing input to the City Council as it moves forward. ->Read More
Highway 36 Commuting Solutions News
Increased Pricetag for Northwest Rail
After preliminary evaluations by BNSF Railway Company, the cost to complete the Northwest Rail from South Westminster Station to Longmont has increased from RTD’s 2011 estimate of $894.4 million to $1.4 billion. This is based on a 2020 completion date, although RTD expects schedule delays due to the significant cost increase of this line. Read full story->
Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
Can you claim the Small Business health Care Tax Credit for 2011? If you are a small employer (business or tax-exempt) that provides health insurence coverage to your employees, follow these 3 simple steps to determine if you may qualify. view full website->
500 Year Floodplain Regulations: Critical Facilities and Mobile Populations Ordinance
How will the Critical Facilities Flooplain ordinance affect you? This ordinance impacts those who use, maintain, own or operate critical faciliites in the 100- or 500- year floodplain. To see if your facility is included, visit the The City of Boulder Flooplain map. If you are in the floodplain AND your business meets any of the facility types defined as essential service, hazardous materials, at-risk populations, or mobile populations, you may be required to meet new regulations. For definitions, the latest draft of the ordinance, information on scheduled meetings, and background information, visit the project website.
First reading of the ordinance WAS SCHEDULED FOR September 20 at 6 p.m.in the City Council Chambers, BUT HAS BEEN DELAYED. CHECK BACK FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Chamber Engages on Behalf of Members on Next Steps in Boulder’s Energy FutureAs Xcel Energy files with the PUC regarding renewable energy and DSM Incentives, and the City convenes business energy users to craft an ongoing input process, the Chamber is engaging with both entities. full story->
Clif Harald (Boulder Economic Council), Sean Maher (Downtown Boulder, Inc.), and Jud Valeski (Chamber Member-Gnip) testified before Council i
n support of a third story addition to the 1600 Pearl building, which will yield 18,309 square feet of much needed Class A Office Space. The building was approved by a 6 to 2 vote.
Boulder Channel 1 News feels this was a horrible mistake. This building is too tall as it is. It was protested when it was built for Borders Books in the 1990′s. It blocks the sun on Pearl ,obscures the view of the Mountains and it was rushed through council. Cliff Harold and Sean Maher should be drummed out of Boulder supporting this horrid decision.
Chamber Recieves Recognition at Annual 10 for Change Awards for being in the top ten for reducing overall GHG emissions in 2011.
2012 Paralympic Experience comes to Boulder this weekend
The Parks and Recreation Department’s EXPAND Paralympic Sport Club will host the 2012 Boulder Paralympic Experience in conjunction with U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, at the University of Colorado Student Recreation Center (Lot 380), UCB 355. Participation is free and open to the public.
The Paralympic Experience introduces people with physical disabilities of all ages to Paralympic sports. In addition to hands-on participation in wheelchair racing, table tennis and judo, the participants will interact with Paralympic athletes and coaches. There will also be educational sessions on Paralympic sports for parents, teachers, coaches, program leaders and rehabilitation specialists.
“EXPAND is excited to host this hands-on event to increase awareness about Paralympic sports,” said Jennifer Heilveil, EXPAND program coordinator. “Participants can meet Paralympic athletes, such as Scott Moore, a three-time U.S. Paralympic medalist in blind judo, and Christina (Ripp) Schwab, a two-time U.S. Paralympic gold medalist in wheelchair basketball, and hear about how sports have improved their overall quality of life. It’s a fun way for kids, potential athletes and people with all abilities to learn more about Paralympic sports.”
“The Paralympic Experience program encourages physical fitness and overall well-being in children with physical disabilities, and we are thrilled to be working with the EXPAND Paralympic Sport Club on this initiative,” said Charlie Huebner, USOC Chief of Paralympics. “Research shows that youth with physical disabilities who participate in physical activity are healthier, more successful in school and have an enhanced quality of life.”
Paralympic Experience events are being held in communities throughout the country. For registration information on the Boulder event, v
Cropland Policy public hearing set for Thursday
Boulder County, Colo. – The Boulder County Commissioners will hear public testimony and comment on the Cropland Policy Advisory Group’s recommendations for Boulder County Open Space croplands on Thursday evening.
What: Cropland Policy public hearing
When: Thursday, Dec. 8 at 6 p.m.
Where: Longmont Conference Center, 1850 Industrial Circle
The evening will begin with a presentation from Parks and Open Space staff. The presentation will cover existing practices and programs, the CPAG’s recommendations, and input from the Food and Agriculture Policy Council, the Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee, and Parks and Open Space staff..
The presentation will be followed by open public comment to the commissioners. Members of the public are welcome and encouraged to provide input, and comments will become a part of the public record. Speakers may sign up starting at 5 p.m. Speakers are held to a three-minute time limit and can pool time up to 10 minutes as long as everyone who signed up is present.
The CPAG, consisting of nine members appointed by the commissioners, held meetings over a nine-month period. Its policy recommendations address soil health, economic sustainability, pest management, program administration, water, livestock, recreation and natural resource protection on agricultural lands. Through a consensus process, CPAG developed more than 80 policy recommendations. Three areas failed to achieve consensus: genetically engineered crops, use of certain pesticides, and experimental farming practices.
Three public meetings have taken place: a staff presentation and public hearing on Nov. 15, FAPC deliberations on Nov. 16, and POSAC deliberations on Nov. 17. Members of the public provided input, and all comments were recorded as part of the public record.
For a copy of the Cropland Policy provided to the commissioners and information about the policy, please visit the Cropland Policy website or contact Resource Planner Jesse Rounds at 303-678-6271 or email@example.com
SLOW, STEADY JOB GROWTH FORECAST FOR COLORADO
IN 2012, SAYS CU LEEDS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
Colorado will continue on the road to recovery and add jobs in 2012 following a positive year in 2011, according to economist Richard Wobbekind of the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business.
Wobbekind’s announcement was part of the 47th annual Colorado Business Economic Outlook Forum presented Dec. 5 by CU-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business.
Compiled by the Leeds School’s Business Research Division, the comprehensive outlook for 2012 features forecasts and trends for 13 business sectors prepared by approximately 100 key business, government and industry professionals.
“In 2012 we’re predicting slow but steady growth for Colorado, much like the U.S. economy,” said Wobbekind, executive director of the Business Research Division. “We’ll continue to add jobs in a wide array of sectors, but not at the dramatic rate that is necessary to significantly lower the unemployment rate.”
Overall, the forecast calls for a gain of 23,000 jobs in 2012, compared with a gain of 27,500 jobs this year. Most sectors of the Colorado economy are predicted to grow in 2012, including the addition of 2,900 jobs in construction, marking the first positive job growth in that troubled sector in four years.
When comparing the Leeds’ forecast to forecasts for other states, Colorado is expected to be in the top 10 states for job growth in 2012.
“The broader story here is Colorado entered the recession later, came out of the recession later and now appears to be accelerating past the rest of the country in terms of job growth and recovery,” Wobbekind said.
Even with positive job growth predicted for the state, Wobbekind said uncertainty at numerous levels still clouds the economic picture in the state and nation.
“The theme of almost every national forecast is uncertainty,” he said. “Every day there is a new event in Europe or a new event in Washington. So you continue to have all of these elements of uncertainty and they impact consumer confidence and household spending. That is something that is very hard to forecast or predict.”
The strongest sector for projected job growth in Colorado in 2012 is the educational and health services sector. The sector is expected to add 7,500 jobs in 2012.
On the agriculture side, Colorado farmers and ranchers are coming off what is expected to be a record-setting year for net farm income. Colorado’s agricultural producers benefited from unexpectedly strong market prices for livestock and crops in 2011, leading to an estimated record net farm income in the state of $1.7 billion. Historic drought in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas spared much of Colorado in 2011, leading to increased market prices for Colorado agricultural products.
“Mother Nature played a major part in this, and this year it played in our favor,” Wobbekind said, adding that Colorado agriculturalists also are expected to do well in 2012.
The manufacturing sector, after adding jobs in 2011 for the first time since 2003, will return to a long-term downward trend and is forecast to lose 1,900 jobs. Two other sectors expected to lose jobs are information, forecast to shed 500 jobs, and financial activities, losing 1,000 jobs.
In 2011, Colorado consumers spent more on goods and services, with retail sales increasing 6.5 percent for the year. In 2012, retail sales are forecast to remain relatively strong with a gain of 4 percent.
“We view the consumer as coming back to the table,” Wobbekind said. “Consumers have deferred a lot, including what we would call more necessary expenditures such as automobiles and other essential products that have been wearing out and need to be replaced.”
With 2011 coming to a close, Wobbekind said Colorado’s economy is ending the year on a positive note.
“We went into the year a little bit slow and then built up momentum for pretty much the entire year, and the last couple of months we’ve passed the national growth rate for jobs, and we’ll end the year above the national growth rate for jobs,” he said. “2011 was a decent year in which we added jobs in a fairly wide variety of sectors.”
Colorado’s unemployment rate for 2012 is expected to decrease from 8.7 percent at the end of 2011 to 8.4 percent, compared with a projected national unemployment rate of around 9 percent.
Colorado’s population is projected to grow 1.5 percent, or 75,900 people, in 2012.
To view the entire economic outlook for Colorado in 2012, including an overview of each of the state’s major economic sectors, visit http://leeds.colorado.edu/BRD and click on the Colorado Business Economic Outlook 2012 icon