May 072010
Authors: Ryan Sheine

With Colorado losing jobs faster than the national average, graduating CSU students should expect more competition from experienced workers than there has traditionally been, economist Jacqueline Midkiff said.

Midkiff, a regional economist for the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics, said she is hesitant to show optimism about the state’s employment future because, despite employment numbers improving nationwide, the statistics don’t look too good for Colorado.

Currently, she said, the total percentage of Coloradans employed has fallen 3.6 percent, while the U.S. is only down a total of 2.5 percent.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, CDLE, expects to see continued job loss throughout 2010, but at a slower pace than 2009. In 2009, Colorado saw 100,000 jobs lost compared to the 3,000 to 4,000 jobs projected to be lost in 2010.

But, she said, job opportunities still do exist in areas like education, government and health care, particularly for registered nursing and on-site nursing assistants.

“Some of the best places to be is health care and education,” Midkiff said. “Health care is very hot, but I don’t know how the recent health care bill is going to affect that.”

Bill Thoennes, of the CDLE, said that the current job outlook is a far cry from where it was in 2005 and 2006.

“Clearly it’s a sluggish job market,” Thoennes said. “Students who are graduating immediately are entering a poor job market.”

Career Center Director Ann Malen said that for students who are graduating and looking for jobs they should approach the challenge of getting a job with as much dedication as they would give a three credit class.

Malen said that job searching takes a lot of preparation and that students should work to have an internship, have a good resume, have done research and have made good decisions on what kind of careers they want to focus on.

“Get engaged in social networks and be proactive,” Malen said. “Develop your networks.”

Students who are graduating this semester need to start their job search now if they haven’t started already, Malen said and added that the worst thing a student can do is to wait until they’re graduated to try to find a job.

“I’d hate to say every sector is doing poorly, but that’s how it is; with the exception of health care, education and government jobs,” Thoennes said.

“Graduates are looking at tough days, but we are still hopeful.”

The job market is going to be initially slow, Thoennes said, but there is expected to be job growth in the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2010.

“Better than what the graduates of 2009 were seeing,” he said.

Staff writer Ryan Sheine can be reached at

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