Regional Economic Update 

NWCCOG produces a regional economic report every quarter based on the most recent data available. For this report, jobs & wage data come from the most recently released Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages, Q1 2020. The data are lagged by 6 months.  Labor Force data come from the most recent data available, which is July 2020. So, it is important to note that the data presented in this quarterly report reflects conditions which existed six months ago for jobs & wages (Jan. 2020 – March 2020). It was at the tail end of of this quarter that COVID19 hit this region hard, apruptly shutting down businesses, ski areas, restaurants, lodging, and canceling large events, however the effects of the pandemic won’t fully be reflected until future economic updates.
Here is a summary of our region’s economic picture in Q1 2020:
  • Total Jobs: 88,873 (+11% from Q419; +1.0% from Q120)
  • Annual Average Wage:
    • Eagle County:  $49,920
    • Grand County:  $37,544
    • Jackson County:  $36,348
    • Pitkin County:  $53,976
    • Summit County:  $41,548
  • Regional Unemployment Rate (July 2020): 9.5% (down from 21% in Q419)
The full report contains detailed information on each of our 5 counties. It also can be found on the NWCCOGEDD website here.
Some things to note:
  • Unemployment is decreasing, which is a good sign.  Regional unemployment stands at 9.5% which is down from 21% in April 2020.
  • Overall, total number of jobs increased from Q4 2019. Industry mix changed, more heavily weighted towards tourism & recreation industry, mostly due to increase in tourism jobs due to the change over to ski season and decrease in other key industries such as construction.
  • Sales tax – it has been reported by many towns in our region that sales tax has fared much better than expected despite the cancellation of large summer events which typically bring large amounts of visitors to our region. This could be due to more steady amount of people in town all summer long, not just on the weekends; more second homeowners making the mountains their primary residence this summer; and many urbanites heading to the mountains as refuge from large cities.