Colorado is a great state for job seekers. The Centennial State has an unemployment rate of just 7.0 percent, below the national average of 7.3 percent. Additionally, Colorado is adding jobs at an annual rate of over 2 percent, above the national average. NerdWallet crunched the numbers to find the best places for job seekers in Colorado.
We found the best places for job seekers in the state by asking the following questions:
- Is the city growing? We assessed growth in the working age population, ages 16 and older, from 2009 to 2011 to ensure that the city was attracting workers and exhibiting a trend of upward population growth.
- Can you afford to live in the city comfortably? We measured a city’s median household income to see if workers made a good living. We also analyzed the monthly homeowner costs, including mortgage payments, to see if the city had a reasonable cost of living.
- Are most people employed? We looked at the unemployment rate.
- For more information, check out our cost of living calculator here.
The Best Places in Colorado for Job Seekers
1. Castle Rock
Castle Rock is located in Douglas County, in central Colorado, approximately 30 miles south of downtown Denver and 40 miles north of Colorado Springs. The city is situated along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and has mild temperatures year-round. Castle Rock saw an impressive 10.7 percent increase in the working-age population between 2009 and 2011, and the town’s unemployment rate is a low 5.3 percent. Top employers in town include Castle Rock Nursing & Rehabilitation, Brookside Inn and AluWind. One program in town, Castle Rock Economic Gardeners, works to provide local small businesses and start-ups with expert business resources such as experienced mentors, group training sessions and workshops for all employees and the latest business research.
The overall score for each city was derived from the following measures:
- Population change from 2009 to 2011 from the U.S. Census (2009 and 2011 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS))
- Median household income from the U.S. Census (2011 ACS, half-weighted)
- Monthly homeowner costs with mortgage payments from the U.S. Census (2011 ACS, half-weighted)
- Unemployment rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2013)
- 26 communities designated as places by the U.S. Census were included in this analysis. Only places with a working-age population greater than 20,000 were considered.
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by ANNIE WANG on NOVEMBER 4, 2013