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Old 01-10-2010, 01:38 AM
 
857 posts, read 1,351,692 times
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Durango has the lowest unemployment (4.6%, Oct 2009) of all mountain towns in the Western US that I've looked at (except Montana and Wyoming - too cold), although the Labor Force has gradually decreased year over year ...

In October, 2009, the Durango MCA (micropolitan statistical area of 30,000 persons eligible for employment) reported an unemployment rate of only 4.6%.

Compare this ... to other destinations popular for young singles/families/students in college or into the outdoors:
just 5.5% in both Boulder and Fort Collins; 6.5% in Santa Fe, NM; 6.7% in Denver; 7.8% in Albuquerque; 8.1% in Flagstaff; 9.4% in Boise; 12% in Eugene, Oregon, and 15% in Bend, Oregon.

Durango, Boulder, Ft. Collins, and Santa Fe (NM) have all experienced year over year unemployment increases of about 20% +/- |~10%|. (please see references if you would like specific info)

Compare this ... to markets such as Flagstaff, Eugene, Bend, Vegas, Phoenix, and Reno-Carson City where, year over year, unemployment has nearly doubled or even doubled in some places.

Question: These figures, for Durango, Ft. Collins, Boulder, and Santa Fe, are incredible!

What local policies are encouraging low year over year unemployment in these areas ... especially Durango (my favorite place of all of these)?

To have the pleasure of living in Durango, one must work. Therefore, how easy is it to get a job in Durango? Is there competition with "the locals," and students at Ft. Lewis College?

Thanks.

refs: radiotomk on twitter
  1. Dear Flagstaff & Eugene: Your Twin City of Durango Colorado Only Has 4.6% Unemployment, just 4.6% Click for Excel Chart http://tiny.cc/L23ak (broken link) 7:00 PM Jan 6th from web
  2. Colorado Governor Ritter Drops Out Of 2010 Governor Race (Breaking): Sources: Ritter expected to withdraw from governor's race - The Denver Post 8:32 PM Jan 5th from web
  3. INTERMOUNTAIN WEST 3rd Qtr. ECONOMIC REPORT: Arizona, Nevada horrible. Colorado, New Mexico OK. Brookings/UNLV Report: Mountain Monitor: Tracking Economic Recession and Recovery in the Intermountain West’s Metropolitan Areas - Brookings Institution 8:54 PM Jan 3rd from web
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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All the unemployed people moved away? Perhaps fewer social services make the out of work go elsewhere more quickly? Also, don't a higher proportion of Durango residents derive their incomes from other places?
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
All the unemployed people moved away? Perhaps fewer social services make the out of work go elsewhere more quickly? Also, don't a higher proportion of Durango residents derive their incomes from other places?
You got it all exactly right. Trustifarians are voluntarily unemployed, so they don't count in the stats. In expensive places like Durango, the people who rely on a local income to survive don't hang around long when they become unemployed. Like the old joke says:

Q: "How do you get a million dollars in Colorado?"
A: "Bring two million and don't stay too long."
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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Glad I didn't go with my other guess that silver mining, ranching, saloon keeping, and prostitution were perhaps bright spots in the current economy.
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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When you have drawn unemployment for your initial claim of 26 weeks you are dropped from the stats. as far as stats are concerned you either died, moved, or found employment. I was in construction for close to 30 years, I know. I kind of question Durango's unemployment numbers.

The thing people have going for them THESE days are the consecutive unemployment extensions after your initial 26 week benefit amount runs out. When I drew I rarely had that going for me (that goes back to the 80's). Unemployment had to be at a certain level as to if one could draw an extension, I'm thinking 10%, hopefully someone can post here with the correct amount as it has been years since I worked in the trade.

Last edited by DOUBLE H; 01-10-2010 at 11:25 PM..
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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I hardly think these statistics matter given the small size of Durango and the fact that there's very little in the way of jobs outside the tourism industry. All it says is vacationers continue to visit Durango for skiing, fly fishing, rafting, hiking, etc.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:43 PM
 
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Default Durango Questioning Validity Of Trustafarian Argument

Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
I hardly think these statistics matter given the small size of Durango and the fact that there's very little in the way of jobs outside the tourism industry. All it says is vacationers continue to visit Durango for skiing, fly fishing, rafting, hiking, etc.
My main point - the Durango MCA (30,000 persons 4.6%) has very low unemployment, compared to the majority of Mountain towns of its size.

My question - why is this, as I am looking for a town with demographics similar to Durango.

However, to have the pleasure of living in Durango, one must find a job.

Others w/ low unemployment include Ft. Collins and Boulder (5.5%) and Santa Fe, NM (6.5%).

I'm not sure about the trustafarian argument presented above, since Educational Services, along with Professional/Scientific/Technical (natural resources for example) are significant in Durango.

In fact, this breakdown is very similar to Flagstaff, AZ where unemployment is almost double that of Durango at 8%, and where the trustafarian argument is also used (as it is in Boulder, Eugene, Ashland, Ft. Collins, Santa Fe, Santa Cruz, etc. etc. etc.).

From city-data.com, Durango profile:

Males:
  • Accommodation and food services (16%)
  • Construction (12%)
  • Educational services (10%)
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services (8%)
  • Health care (5%)
  • Administrative and support and waste management services (5%)
  • Public administration (4%)
Females:
  • Educational services (18%)
  • Accommodation and food services (17%)
  • Health care (13%)
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services (8%)
  • Social assistance (5%)
  • Finance and insurance (4%)
  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation (4%)
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:50 PM
 
857 posts, read 1,351,692 times
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Default Durango Purchasing Land

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
You got it all exactly right. Trustifarians are voluntarily unemployed, so they don't count in the stats. In expensive places like Durango, the people who rely on a local income to survive don't hang around long when they become unemployed. Like the old joke says:

Q: "How do you get a million dollars in Colorado?"
A: "Bring two million and don't stay too long."
However, there are SOME of us whose careers require that we acquire large tracts of land, so we're looking for economically healthy areas such as La Plata (CO) or Santa Fe (NM) Counties.

Cities with double digit unemployment near land (such as Eugene and Ashland, Oregon and coastal California towns) seem risky.

I think that Northern NM and rural Colorado will face challenges, yet remain relatively stable in the next few years, due to natural resources (coal, oil, gas, mining) and agriculture.

Any thoughts on the economic outlook of northern NM and southern CO?

Last edited by CCCVDUR; 01-10-2010 at 10:20 PM..
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:41 AM
 
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Here is my take on Durango (relative to the size of the community).

- The town has a strong government employment base. (City and County Government as well as some Federal employment)
- Tourism industry that has stayed fairly strong.
- Fort Lewis College adds another stable employer to the area and the student base adds buyers to the area. (Most college towns have done better through this recession.)
- Retail is many focused on lower end big box (Wal-mart, Home Depot, etc...) These types of retailers have performed better than high end retail.
- Large new regional hospital (stable, significant employer)
- A large chunck of the construction works that have lost their jobs don't show up on the unemployment stats
- retirees (many on the wealthy side)

Outlook.
Growth has slowed and the area will probably see very little economic development for some time (home construction is dead). Big projects have recently been completed including major road work and the regional hospital.

Last edited by ragerunner1; 01-11-2010 at 10:12 AM..
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:08 AM
 
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Get this right--what makes most of the Durango economy tick is people from elsewhere with excess money--money also from elsewhere--choosing to live there. Now, if you assume that the "cash cow" of discretionary income and funny money speculative income is drying up across this formerly great nation--and it is--that does not bode well for places like Durango. Tourism--which is the second leg of the stool of the Durango economy--is dependent on that same stream of discretionary income. Not good. That leaves the energy industry--that has some bright spots, but it is also an industry that most people who desire to live in "beautiful Durango" either disdain or have no qualifications to be able to work in it. The rest of the service economy in Durango--government is the big sector--depends on the health of the rest of the economy. So, when the general economy starts to tank, that sector is not far behind. Think California.

As for agriculture, the developers and rural sprawl-lovers are doing their damndest to kill what is left of agriculture in western Colorado. I know--I'm a former agriculturalist.

Also, note in the C-D stats on employment in Durango that basic industries (mining, agriculture, etc.) don't even make the list. And, trust-funders sitting on their ***es aren't there, either--because the that is not considered "working" or a "career" by most normal folks. Durango is also chock-full of people living the "Paradise Syndrome." These are people that try to buy themselves a lifestyle in Durango (or some other "nifty" place). The great majority of them manage to last a few years, until they have exhausted all of their savings, equity, borrowing capacity, etc.--then they stick their tail between their legs, move back to "the World" where they can make a living, and some other chump takes their place to try to live the Paradise Syndrome. No, these folks usually don't show up in the unemployment stats because THEY LEAVE. This has been going on Durango for as long as I have known the place, and probably before that.

Durango, for all of its charms, remains a relatively geographically isolated locale--wholly dependent on highways and air service for its transportation needs. When those modes of transportation become overly expensive or flat-out unavailable to many, well, Durango and places similar to it are going to sink back into isolation again.

Finally, reading stats does not tell the whole story about a place. One has to know geography, history, and economics to make sense of a place. I've only been familiar with Durango and southwest Colorado for pushing a half-century now. I also have a cadre of ex-Durango nativess as friends. They are "ex" because it is such a hard place in which to make a living for any normal person.
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