Since its incorporation in 1969, Lakewood is one of the newest, most populous cities in the state with a population of almost 150,000. It is currently the 5th largest city in the state and the 172nd largest city in the country. As part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metropolitan area, Forbes voted it as the best place to live in 2015.
Cost of living in Lakewood is comparable to the statewide average, only 1.4 percent above, but also 7.1 percent above the national average. Its higher cost of living can be attributed to more expensive housing and healthcare, while transportation and utilities are low. The median rent in the city is $940 per month, and the median home price is $238,000.
Lakewood, CO Job Opportunities
Lakewood has a highly diversified workforce, although the public sector has an overwhelming amount of jobs. This is due to the Denver Federal Center, which houses government bodies such as the Department of the Interior, the US Geological Survey, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Bureau of Reclamation. Such jobs within these departments include accountants, cartographers,engineers, scientists and researchers.
Jobs outside of the Denver Federal Center are a mix of public and private sector jobs including education, manufacturing, food service, retail, and banking. For education professionals, Jefferson County Public Schools and Red Rocks Community College hire over 3,500 workers including teachers, maintenance staff, and administrators. Other large companies include 1st Bank, Einstein Bros. Bagels, and HomeAdvisor.
Lakewood, CO Employment Trends
As of April 2015, the unemployment rate was 4.4 percent, which is slightly above the statewide average of 4.2 percent. Job growth is expected to rise almost 3 percent over the next year, making it the 112th fastest growing economy in the country. Lakewood also has an economic development center which is pushing plans for more retail shopping areas, along with commercial construction and a light rail line to attract people from Denver.