SHARECOMMENTMORE

Economist Rich Wobbekind with the University of Colorado's Leeds School of Business is sounding optimistic. He says Colorado will continue on the road to recovery with job growth in 2013 across almost all business sectors, but it won't be skyrocketing growth.

"For the state, we see a very positive environment for 2013," Wobbekind said. "We're seeing a wide array of jobs being added and they're diversifying our state economy."

Wobbekind's forecast was being released on Monday, and overall, it predicts a gain of 42,100 jobs in 2013, compared with a gain of nearly 48,000 in 2012.

"Resolution of the so-called fiscal cliff and the resolution of the European debt crisis will have impacts on the national economy and that will filter down to the state level," Wobbekind said. "Once that uncertainty gets resolved, we then expect business investments to start flowing again and consumers to start making decisions based on a known environment. We think the recovery will be quite a bit smoother after that."

Wobbekind also predicts Colorado's unemployment rate will drop from 8 percent in 2012 to 7.4 percent in 2013. Comparing the Leeds' jobs forecast to outlooks for other states, Colorado is expected to be in the top 10 for job growth next year.

"It's great to be giving positive news to people year after year," Wobbekind said. "Confidence levels nationally are at their highest levels in five years. We're really starting to see a lot more optimism on the part of the average person on the street about the future."

To view the entire economic outlook for Colorado in 2013, including an overview of each of the state's major economic sectors, visit http://leeds.colorado.edu/BRD and click on the Colorado Business Economic Outlook 2013 icon.