As a millennial and a woman entrepreneur, two things that I am very passionate about, I feel like it is my duty to educate my fellow Denverites and the nation that we aren’t going anywhere. In fact, we are making some major waves in business, our local economies, and communities.
For the second year in a row, Denver was ranked number 1 in Forbes “Best Places for Business and Careers” list in both 2015 and 2016. There is rapid growth occurring here and already in 2017, new business filings were up 9.3% in the first quarter alone! With new growth comes a plethora of new opportunities across our great state of Colorado and our booming city metropolis of Denver. Our population is still increasing and more and more millennials are moving here each year.
According to the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp’s recent September 2016 publication The Millennial Influence in Metro Denver, our generation is changing the face of entrepreneurship, workplace dynamics, and how we travel to work:
The millennial generation has ideals and demands that stray from previous norms, which are leading to alterations in the workplace environment. In 2013, the baby boomers, generation x, and millennials each represented nearly one-third of the Denver-Boulder MSAs’ entrepreneurs total. The share of millennial entrepreneurs in the Denver-Boulder MSAs increased from 2 percent in 2000 to 34 percent in 2013. Millennials are also changing the way that they travel to work, primarily motivated by environmental and health concerns. This generational group is also driving the shift towards co-working spaces and working collaboratively, as they prefer work environments with greater flexibility, added amenities, and scalability.
Just as Metro Denver historically was known as a magnet for the baby boomers, the region is now a choice location for the millennials and will continue to attract millennials in the coming years. Metro Denver’s high quality of life, strong job market, and thriving economic environment continue to draw young, skilled workers to the region. Millennials are making their mark on the workplace today and currently represent the largest component of the potential labor force. Despite variances, Denver Metro’s competitor areas are generally experiencing a similar boom in their millennial population and workforce. Demographic shifts related to both the millennial and baby boomer generations are changing the face of Metro Denver and the other competitor areas alike, which has implications for future labor force growth patterns, consumer spending patterns, and residential real estate needs. As a result, the millennial population is critically important to Metro Denver and the competitor areas’ economic futures.
The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Economic Forecast for Metro Denver shows that our economic growth will remain on par with 2016. Our employment growth last year was higher than the national average by 1.2 percentage points at 2.9% and this growth was up across all sectors. We have a vibrant entrepreneurial climate, an active start-up market, and a positive business outlook. Last year, Denver received the following rankings:
Our employment growth will continue in 2017 in leisure and hospitality, education and health services, natural resources and construction, and financial activities – many of these sectors having strong millennial influence.
Our 2016 population was 3.13 million (up 1.9%) and is set to only rise 1.8% in 2017 to be about 3.19 million; however, our overall growth is still above the national growth average of 0.8%. Today and over the next 15 years, millennials are still going to make up the majority of the Denver Metro population. As boomers and gen x continue to age, millennials will overtake the majority of the work force, even though gen x makes up the majority today, the increase in millennials continuing to move here for our quality of life and lower unemployment rates will eventually create a shift.
Millennials will also affect consumer spending patterns which will ultimately have an impact on our economy as we continue to age.
Overall, the Denver Metro economy for 2017 is still set to be one of the best in the nation.
Women in Business
Source: The Business Journals 2017 SMB Insights “Women SMB Owners: Achieving Growth Through Community Focus