We’ve all heard about — or participated in — the Great Resignation. Global and economic uncertainty has ruled the headlines and hit close to home for most people. So how is the job market looking in Colorado Springs? The city and local economy have continued to grow. The local unemployment rate was down to 4.1% as of January 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And Colorado Springs has led the state in regaining jobs lost during the pandemic, with 104% of those lost jobs regained as of December 2021, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
Still, we wanted to know what’s happening with local businesses looking to refill or add new jobs in real-time, so we turned to industry leaders across some of Colorado Springs’ leading industries. Whether you’re searching for a new job of your own or just curious about the local economy, here are some interesting insights on the Colorado Springs job market from local business leaders.
On the Business Climate
Chief Economic Development Officer
Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC
If I could use one word to describe the overall business climate, it’s opportunity. There is so much opportunity here for a company that needs to grow or wants to set down roots in a community. Colorado Springs in recent years has done a really good job including and welcoming the entrepreneur, but also understanding what it takes to support a larger company, like Microchip Technology which recently announced a $40 million expansion in the market. Regardless of where you are in your company life cycle, no matter how large or small you are, there is a place for you in this region. Colorado Springs takes that very seriously and has resources and programs in place to demonstrate that to companies across size and industry.
Dr. Brian Erling
President & CEO
Penrose-St. Francis Health Services
Both of our Centura hospitals are Magnet-accredited facilities, a nursing award that recognizes excellence in many areas, including a culture of inclusion. We look for individuals to work with us who want to have a voice and who want to be actively involved in how their unit operates. The largest percentage of our workforce is nurses, so nursing naturally represents the largest percentage of our job opportunities.
However, we’re hiring in essentially every area: therapists, imaging techs, pharmacy, you name it. One of the greatest shortages we’ve seen is in medical assistants and certified nursing assistants, both of which have a relatively low barrier to entry for someone who’s considering going into healthcare. We are also hiring in lots of nonclinical areas, such as nutrition, environmental services and patient access.
On the Labor Market & Economy
Tatiana Bailey, Ph.D.
UCCS Economic Forum
Colorado Springs is experiencing an even tighter labor market than the U.S. A ratio that I calculate shows how many workers we have per open job. Ideally you want 1.2 or 1.4, assuming there’s some friction in the labor market. That would sort of be equilibrium. Colorado Springs is at 0.71 workers per job opening. So it’s a headwind.
From a broader economic perspective, it’s not really what you want because eventually businesses hit a wall and they just can’t grow as much as they could if they had the talent they needed. But if you’re a job seeker, you’ve got a lot of choice, especially if you work in an industry that is conducive to remote work. You can call those shots. You can probably ask for more money. You can ask for more benefits. It’s a really good deal right now for workers, particularly those with highly demanded skills.
Rodney Gullatte Jr.
CEO, Firma IT Solutions
President & CEO
Colorado Springs Black Chamber of Commerce
I tell Black people coming here to look at the demographics. The population is 6.3% Black. As a percentage, it’s small, but it’s a lot of people. And the environment right now is ripe for cultural revolution with this city embracing people who are finding their voice—who may not have thought they had a voice here before. There’s a great push and a lot of effort by a lot of organizations, not just the Black Chamber, to make sure people feel like they belong here and give them a place and a voice.
It’s a very exciting time for Colorado Springs and this region. For Black people looking to put in that work and feel like making a difference, it’s a good place to come. It’s a beautiful community.
On Women in Leadership
Tax Partner, CPA
Stockman Kast Ryan + Company
I wouldn’t give a young woman any different advice than I would give a young man. I think the opportunities are there. What I see in Colorado Springs is an openness, a collaboration. I think businesses here are just looking for the best candidate, the right person to help lead that charge.
Women always have a different challenge, but honestly, I see that as a family issue. I see the same concerns from my young male employees that I do from my female employees. Our Millennial and Gen Z employees are wanting to get away from that differentiator. Our young male employees want to be as involved in their families as our young female employees do. I don’t see it as a gender issue anymore.
On Entrepreneurial Opportunity
Atlas Restaurant Group
From the entrepreneurial perspective, if you are a decent person and have a halfway decent idea, there’s opportunity upon opportunity here. Our experience director likes to say, “There’s a lot not happening in Colorado Springs.” What she means is there’s a lot of opportunities for somebody to come in and create. Our staple amenities exist, but they don’t exist so much that somebody can’t come in and carve out a place for their spin on it, whether that’s food or tech or retail.
If you have that entrepreneurial spirit, this is fertile ground. This is very much a place you can plant a seed, and with a little care, you can really see it flourish.
On Software & Technology
CEO & Co-Founder
You will not find a more robust talent market for the tech community than Colorado Springs. Our community is unbelievably rich with technical professionals who have supported incredibly complex enterprise problems ranging from space traffic control missions to telecommunications.
There is a tremendous opportunity in Colorado Springs for newcomers and entrepreneurs in our technology and innovation ecosystem. Go to any major employer in our tech community. Whether it’s a software company or aerospace and defense, you’ll see 10s of job openings on their website. There are thousands of tech-based open job positions in this community. The opportunity is endless.
On Tech Startups
Startups are typically more nimble and agile, so they have really pivoted in effective ways and responded to the needs of the workforce and the labor market here. There are a lot of really great opportunities that are either hybrid remote or fully remote.
Anecdotally, I’ve seen a lot of individuals learning to code to get into the tech sector from a different career, whether that be finance or marketing or whatever, for the quality of life that startup jobs can offer. And I haven’t seen the hiring rate slow down at all. Engineering or high level technical talent is always competitive, and that definitely hasn’t changed. If anything, it has increased.
Top 10 Colorado Springs Jobs
|Top Job Titles January 2022||Job Postings||Market Salary|
|Software Developers, Applications||549||$94,847|
|Sales Reps, Wholesale & Manufacturing||405||$43,540|
|Computer Systems Engineers/Architects||359||$97,529|
|Customer Service Representatives||354||$29,318|
|First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers||271||$36,324|
|Information Security Analysts||245||$94,448|
|Medial & Health Services Managers||241||$63,863|