This City Is a Millennial Hiring Paradise

August 19, 2016, 3:00 PM UTC
USA, Colorado, Denver, City view and Rocky Mountains from east
USA, Colorado, Denver, city view and Rocky Mountains from the east
Walter Bibikow — Getty Images/AWL Images

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The city of Denver, Colorado might call to mind images of ski trips and snowy mountains, but its job market couldn’t be hotter. According to the Wall Street Journal, 32,000 new companies have opened in Denver in the past four years, with over 165,000 jobs to match. That hiring environment—combined with its high quality of life—have made the city a magnet for job-seeking millennials.

Nearly 13,000 millennials flocked to Denver between 2009 and 2014, according to analysis from real estate site Zillow. And while the city’s experienced the spiking rents that come with a population boom, its job market is still extraordinarily strong for a city of its size (US Census data ranks Denver the 19th largest city by population).

According to Monster data pulled using CEB TalentNeuron, nearly 4,300 job listings were posted in the Denver area in the past 120 days. That puts it in the same league as larger cities like Philadelphia and Phoenix, and even ahead of a tech job hub like San Jose. All told, Denver ranks 19th out of all US cities for job listings added to Monster.

“Denver was in a major recession in the ’80s,” said urban planner Carrie Makarewicz told the New York Times. “The main industry was gas and oil, so when the energy sector bombed, the business community and government got together and decided they needed to diversify and make some major investments.”

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Monster data ranks the tech space as Denver’s largest source of job listings, with over 1,000 posted in the past 120 days. That’s no surprise—commercial real estate broker CBRE says tech companies leased over a million square feet of office space last year, representing a nearly 6% jump over the previous year.

Of course, it’s nearly impossible to talk about the Denver job market without mentioning Colorado’s legal marijuana industry. Last month, the city hosted a cannabis career fair featuring more than 50 companies and over 1,000 jobs, some retail-oriented (the “bud tenders” behind the dispensary counter), some sleekly corporate (pot companies need social media managers too).

“Marijuana is now, for the most part, mainstream acceptable, and with that the talent pool has followed suit,” Tripp Keber, the founder of Denver-based marijuana edibles company Dixie Brands, told CBS last month.

Read More: These Cities Have Become Magnets for Job-Seeking College Graduates

And while Colorado’s pot industry is still relatively small, there’s evidence that it’s actually propping up the state’s flagging retail and manufacturing industries. One report from the Colorado Business Review describes a boost in retail sales and employment in areas where marijuana is legalized (recreational pot sales began in the state in 2014), while a Denver Post story points to edibles as a possible explanation for an uptick in food manufacturing jobs. All told, weed-derived revenue totaled $486 million in Colorado for the first five months of 2016.

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But regardless of whether you choose to tap into Colorado’s pot job boom, its capital city has experienced more than 50 consecutive months of job growth and positioned itself as a beacon for hungry young talent. Maybe it’s time to turn that ski trip into an extended stay.