New data points to growth in multiple industry clusters throughout Metro Denver and Northern Colorado

January 29, 2015

DENVER – January 29, 2015 – Today, the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC) released its ninth annual Industry Cluster Study, an in-depth analysis of the industries creating new jobs and investment in the nine-county Metro Denver and Northern Colorado region.

The study, completed by the Metro Denver EDC's Chief Economist Patty Silverstein and Senior Economist Lisa Strunk of Development Research Partners, evaluates eight major industry clusters in the region: aerospace, aviation, bioscience, broadcasting and telecommunications, energy, financial services, healthcare and wellness, and information technology-software. One-year employment figures factors data through the third quarter of 2014. 

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“While three industry clusters and subclusters experienced slight employment contractions that are mostly in line with national trends, the region’s overall outlook is very positive as we continue to expand the diversity of our economic base,” said Silverstein.

According to Silverstein, the nine-county region has come a long way in recovering jobs within its largest industry clusters following the 2008-2010 recession. She noted that in the 2010 study, only cleantech posted positive annual job growth, while in 2014, employment expanded in nine of 12 clusters and subclusters.

The energy industry—including fossil fuels and cleantech—continues to be a powerhouse contributing to economic expansion in the region, posting five-year job growth of 38 percent and 22.5 percent, respectively.

“Now more than ever before, we see the benefits of our balanced energy approach,” explained Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver EDC. “This industry with both its elements represents much of Colorado’s economy today with a combined $6.4 billion annual payroll. We are also encouraged with the increased growth in Financial Services, especially in the Investment and Insurance sub-clusters, demonstrating our rebound from the disruptive financial elements of the Great Recession.”

The study also cites the future impact of the permanent satellite office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, the continuing buildout of FasTracks; and new nonstop international flights as having positive impacts to all industries in the region.

The Metro Denver cluster analysis includes industry descriptions and employment trends, major companies, employment concentration rank compared to the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, comprehensive workforce profiles, and detailed industry news and developments.

Metro Denver and Northern Colorado Industry Clusters - Competitive Advantages
(one-year/five-year employment growth in parentheses):

  • Aerospace - The nine-county region ranks first out of the 50 largest metros for private aerospace employment concentration, with 19,560 workers in 120 companies. Significant projects in 2014 included MAVEN, WorldView-3, and Orion. (-0.4%/-3.2%)
  • Aviation – Growth and expansion at Denver International Airport continues to anchor the industry, which employs 16,350 people. The start of a new, nonstop flight to Panama City strengthens the region’s position as a global business hub. (2.3%/1.6%)
  • Bioscience – More than 15,120 employees work at 600 bioscience companies in the nine-county region. Ongoing development at the Fitzsimons Life Science District and the adjacent Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora continues to catalyze the industry. (medical devices, 1.9%/5.4%; pharmaceuticals, -4.3%/-12.5%) 
  • Broadcasting and Telecommunications - The region offers substantial assets for this industry due to its Mountain time zone location and one-bounce satellite capability, ranking fifth for U.S. employment concentration in 2014. (0.9%/0%) 
  • Energy – The region’s balanced energy economy is among one of the fastest growing nationally, ranking fourth in fossil fuels and fifth for cleantech employment concentration. Overall, the energy industry employs 50,260 people in the region (fossil fuels, 6.5%/38%; cleantech, 5.9%/22.5%) 
  • Financial Services - The industry had major company announcements in 2014, which included the opening of Charles Schwab’s $230 million campus in Lone Tree and the location of WorldRemit’s new North American headquarters and operations center in Denver. (banking and finance, -3.1%/-8%; investments, 4.2%/9.9%; and insurance, 2.8%/4.4%)
  • Healthcare and Wellness – Metro Denver and Northern Colorado is a regional healthcare center for the Rocky Mountain West, with more than 192,290 healthcare and wellness workers. (4.9%/21.2%) 
  • Information Technology-Software - The region has a vibrant entrepreneurial community and is the epicenter for startup activity, ranking as the fifth-best place for millennial-aged entrepreneurs in 2014. In addition, Denver ranked second as the best city to launch a startup business out of the 50 most populated cities. (3.2%/9.1%) 

Statewide reports for the aerospace and energy industries are available in the industry section on

Learn more:

» Executive Summary (PDF)
» Metro Denver & Northern Colorado Industry Cluster Study (PDF) 

About the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation
An affiliate of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC) is the nation's first regional economic development entity, bringing together more than 70 cities, counties, and economic development agencies in the nine-county Metro Denver and Northern Colorado area. The Metro Denver EDC focuses on six areas to expand the regional economy: national marketing, new and existing business, mobility, DIA/international flights, tax reform, and special opportunities. The organization also leads three industry-focused affiliates: the Colorado Energy Coalition, the Colorado Space Coalition, and the Metro Denver Aviation Coalition. To learn more, see

Media contact: Janet Fritz - Senior Director, Marketing and Technology, Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., 303.475.4194