January 29, 2013
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According to the latest data from the Colorado Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in Routt County continued its gradual descent through the end of 2013. CDL figures place the December 2013 unemployment rate at 4.5 percent. That’s an impressive drop from the December 2012 rate of 6.3 percent and continues the downward trend in the 12-month moving average unemployment rate that began in October 2012.
Recent data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reporting program indicates that local crime is on the decline.
Since its inception in May, this column has focused on using the best available data to make predictions about indicators that are important to the local economy. We made several predictions in 2013, encompassing topics such as sales tax revenues, gasoline prices, population levels, electricity consumption levels and snowfall. Now that we’ve rung in the new year, it’s a good time to take a look back at a few of these predictions to see how we did.
Strong early season snowfall has resulted in a robust snow depth level in Steamboat to start the 2013-2014 ski season
The 2013 data reveals what local residents already know: When it comes to healthy living, Routt County is pretty darn good.
The government shutdown brings to mind questions about the role of government here in the Yampa Valley. How much money actually flows from government coffers into the pockets of Yampa Valley residents? And how important are these funds to local income levels?
A recent Yampa Valley Data Partners analysis of Yampa Valley Electricity Association data indicates that electricity use in the valley has continued to grow steadily throughout the past several years even while many other economic and social indicators moved down in the wake of the Great Recession.
The local labor market is on the mend. The Routt County unemployment rate in June was 6.6 percent. This is down from the rate of 7.7 percent in June 2012 but still well above the ultra-low rate of 2.2 percent experienced in March 2007.
The impact of the Great Recession on Routt County was widespread. There were visible signs of change such as falling real estate prices, declining retail sales and rising unemployment. However, the Yampa Valley also was affected in a less visible but potentially longer-lasting and more meaningful way. The recession accelerated a demographic transformation that already was underway.
It’s amazing how much information we can extract from small bits of data. Take the sales tax collection data recently released by the city of Steamboat Springs, for example.
Yampa Valley Data Partners’ new economic analyst wrote about the future of the region’s energy production in the organization’s April newsletter.
Brandon Owens is joining the nonprofit organization as an independent contractor and adviser on data projects and products, according to a news release.