Economy

NEWS
1:08 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Bill Aims To Draw New Businesses To Struggling Colorado Communities

A going out of business sign in Paonia. The Colorado town is in a county with high unemployment and a sluggish economy.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

A bipartisan bill introduced in the state legislature this week looks to give struggling Colorado communities a jump-start. 

Senate Bill 282 would create ‘tax-friendly zones’ in up to 30 highly distressed counties across the state. 

"We are talking about areas that have the highest unemployment and lowest wages," said bill sponsor House Majority Leader Crisanta Duran, D-Denver. 

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NEWS
6:00 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Colorado Recovery Not Equal

Credit Solar Energy International

The latest Colorado jobs report shows some communities across the state still struggle with high unemployment. 

State economists say for the past four months, Colorado’s unemployment rate has stayed at 4.2 percent. That figure is still below the national unemployment rate of 5.5 percent.

Alexandra Hall is chief economist for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. 

"The labor force in Colorado is continuing to grow and the number of people employed are continuing to grow," Hall says.  

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NEWS
11:39 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Mixed Economic News As The Legislature's Budget Work Nears

Stephen Butler Flickr - Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 9:54 am

As they prepare to write the annual budget, there's mixed news for Colorado lawmakers. The latest revenue forecast shows the economy will remain strong, but there is a lot of uncertainty going forward, especially when it comes to low oil prices and how it ripples through the state's economy.

"On net low oil prices are good for the national economy, but for areas where you have energy production, energy production states, on net it has been negative in the past," said nonpartisan Chief Legislative Economist Natalie Mullis. "Colorado is a third tier energy producing state and it does have a dampening effect on our economy."

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NEWS
10:33 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Economic Development Bill Progresses At State Capitol

Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

A bill to find ways to boost economic development in highly distressed regions of Colorado has cleared the state House. 

The bipartisan measure calls for the creation of a working group that identifies areas in Colorado that are struggling. 

The group would make recommendations to the legislature on how to improve the economies of these distressed regions. 

Democratic Rep. Dan Pabon of Denver is one of the bill’s sponsors.  

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NEWS
10:31 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Higher Wages, Lower Prices Give Consumers A Break

A sharp drop in gasoline prices led the consumer price index to fall in January. The CPI posted its first year-over-year drop since 2009.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 11:54 am

Economists usually worry about a "wage-price spiral" taking hold. That's when workers are earning more, but losing buying power as prices rise.

For now, at least, something very rare is happening: Paychecks and prices are heading in opposite directions.

"You have a schism that's helpful to consumers," IHS economist Doug Handler said about the recent decline in prices and rise in wages.

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NEWS
11:05 am
Wed February 11, 2015

The Fall And Rise Of U.S. Inequality, In 2 Graphs

Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 12:21 pm

Since World War II, inequality in the U.S. has gone through two, dramatically different phases.

In the first phase, known as the great compression, inequality fell. Incomes rose for people in the bottom 90 percent of the income distribution, as the postwar boom led to high demand for workers with low and moderate skills.

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NEWS
3:56 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Map: The Most Common* Job In Every State

Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 3:20 pm

*We used data from the Census Bureau, which has two catch-all categories: "managers not elsewhere classified" and "salespersons not elsewhere classified." Because those categories are broad and vague to the point of meaninglessness, we excluded them from our map.

What's with all the truck drivers? Truck drivers dominate the map for a few reasons.

  • Driving a truck has been immune to two of the biggest trends affecting U.S. jobs: globalization and automation. A worker in China can't drive a truck in Ohio, and machines can't drive cars (yet).
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NEWS
3:14 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Bill To Aid Rural Colorado Communities Dies In Committee

In recent months multiple businesses have closed and shop spaces remain empty on the main drag in Paonia. The town is in Delta County, a place that's seen the boom-or-bust cycle of the coal industry.
Credit Laura Palmisano

A bill that aimed to help rural Colorado communities during times of economic crisis was killed in committee this week.  

The bill was sponsored by freshman Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail, who represents seven counties including Delta, Hinsdale and Gunnison.   

Donovan says the bill would’ve allowed the state to react quickly with financial assistance when there’s an economic emergency in a community like a plant shutdown or industry-wide layoffs. 

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NEWS
3:39 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Bill To Aid Rural Communities During Hard Times

In recent months multiple businesses have closed and shop spaces remain empty on the main drag in Paonia. The town is in Delta County, a place that's seen the boom-or-bust cycle of the coal industry.
Credit Laura Palmisano

A Colorado Senate bill introduced last week aims to help rural communities during times of economic crisis. 

SB15-036 seeks to give emergency assistance grants to rural communities during times of economic hardship. The bill is sponsored by freshman Senator Kerry Donovan who represents state Senate District 5. The district covers seven counties on the Western Slope including Delta, Hinsdale and Gunnison. 

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ECONOMY
9:30 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Colorado's Unemployment Rate Drops In November

Credit Colorado Division of Reclamation Mining & Safety

On Friday the state released its employment outlook for November.

Colorado's unemployment rate continues to drop. In October it was 4.3 percent and has moved down to 4.1 percent. The last time it was this low was in January of 2008. 

KVNF's Laura Palmisano spoke to Joe Winter, a senior economist with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, about the report and what the economy might look like in 2015. 

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ECONOMY
11:58 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Montrose County Given Heightened Tax Incentives

Credit Flickr user agrilifetoday

There's more of a reason to hire someone if your business is in Montrose County.

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ECONOMY
12:08 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Business, Community Leaders Discuss North Fork Valley Economy

The Hive Paonia and the Paonia Chamber of Commerce hosted a forum exploring the economy of the North Fork Valley.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Business and community leaders in Delta County’s North Fork Valley say Paonia, Crawford, and Hotchkiss need an economic boost. They recently held a forum on the North Fork Valley’s economy and what can be done to improve it.

About 100 people attended the forum in Paonia last week.

They came to hear different perspectives on the local economy, what’s working and what’s not, and how to make things better.

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ECONOMY
6:00 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Forum Explores The Future Of The North Fork Valley

The Hive Paonia and the Paonia Chamber of Commerce hosted a forum exploring the economy of the North Fork Valley.
Credit Laura Palmisano

About 100 people attended a forum on the North Fork Valley's economy and what can be done to improve it. 

Thirteen people ranging from the president of a coal mine to the head of the Paonia Chamber of Commerce spoke at the forum held at the Hive Paonia. 

"We have our farms," says Alexis Halbert, president of the chamber. "We have our hunting resources. We have are restaurants, wineries, [and] people who are creating things out of the natural assets of the valley."

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ECONOMY
12:59 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Where Wages Are Rising (And Falling), In 1 Graph

Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 1:23 pm

Job growth has been strong and steady over the past year. Wages, not so much: Average pay for U.S. workers barely kept up with inflation. But there was a fair bit of variation across different sectors. Here's a look. (In the graph, the size of the circle indicates the total number of jobs in each sector.)

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NEWS
5:21 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Colorado's Unemployment Rate Down, Labor Force Increases

Credit flickr.com/kylemay

Colorado's economy is doing better.

Numbers released Monday show the state's unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in July. The last time it was this low was Oct. 2008. 

The national unemployment rate for June was 6.2 percent. 

In Colorado nonfarm payroll jobs increased 5,500. Private sector jobs increased 6,000 while government jobs decreased 500. The state has had 33 consecutive months of payroll job gains.

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NEWS
4:33 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls, Colorado's Still Lower

The U.S. unemployment rate is the lowest it's been since September 2008. 

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POLITICS
6:13 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

One Point Of Contention In The Colorado Gov's Race? The Economy

Pictured on the left, GOP challenger Bob Beauprez, on the right, incumbent John Hickenlooper.
Beauprez-U.S. House / Hickenlooper-State of Colorado

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 10:37 am

Colorado’s economy and job growth are already shaping up to play a central role in the November gubernatorial race. Both candidates are using their own figures to assess how the state is faring as it recovers from the recession.

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NEWS
5:44 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Senator Gail Schwartz and other state officials offer little to reassure laid off coal miners

Credit Pam Morris via Flickr creative commons

Coal miners and their families filled the gym at the Paonia branch of the Delta Montrose Technical College on Saturday. Many of them were among the 300 people laid off by Oxbow’s Elk Creek Mine in Somerset last month. They were there to hear state Senator Gail Schwartz and others talk about how the state could help them deal with the job losses. Some ideas included rural economic development grants and financial aid for miners to go back to school. But many people left the meeting feeling just as lost as before. 

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NEWS
9:49 am
Wed December 4, 2013

KVNF Regional Newscast: Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Headlines

  • More Layoffs as Coal Mine All But Shuttered
  • KVNF Youth Reporters Tackle Energy Issues
  • Ali Lightfoot on the Pass the Mic Project
  • December Storm Could be Clue to Rest of Winter Weather
  • Despite Early Snowfall, Much of State Still in Drought
NEWS
5:50 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

More Layoffs As Coal Mine All But Shuttered

Mike Ludlow, Executive Vice President of Oxbow’s mining operations, points to where managers hope to start coal mining at Elk Creek Mine with a new or rebuilt longwall miner. Those plans are on hold while Oxbow Mining tries to line up that equipment.
Credit Elise Thatcher/Aspen Public Radio

More coal miners in the North Fork Valley are being laid off. Oxbow Mining company, owned by billionaire Bill Koch, laid off more than a hundred more employees on Monday at its Elk Creek mine.

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