How’s the Leadville Economy Doing?
Lake County Economic Growth Numbers
The Colorado Workforce Center in Leadville recently released its quarterly report outlining the most up-to-date workforce intelligence for Lake County. Labor Force trends indicate that businesses continue to compete for employees in a tight labor market. March, April, and May experience high turnover as local employees transition from summer to winter seasonal positions. As for jobs, Lake County saw an increase in 79 jobs between the second and third quarters of 2018. The largest increase was in the leisure and hospitality industry. As for new businesses, the report indicates that Lake County saw a decrease in five total business establishments between the second and third quarters of 2018. Year over year, Lake County has seen a small increase in total establishments. Shifts took place in the following industries: Construction, Trades, and leisure and hospitality.
Another component of the report recorded that a quarter of Lake County households may not meet standards for employee self-sufficiency. New data from the Colorado Center on Law and Policy indicates wages for 15 of Lake County’s top 50 occupations (by number of jobs) may not be enough to eliminate a family of four’s need for some form of public assistance. The largest impacts are felt in the retail, construction, and food service industries.
According to the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, a Lake County family of two needs income more than twice that of the federal poverty level in order to make ends meet. Per the study, a lake county single parent with a preschooler needs an annual income of at least $40,072 to meet minimum self-sufficiency standards. Around one-quarter of households in Lake County do not meet the standard.
State Holds Strong 1st Quarter
Colorado’s business entity filings and job growth are on the rise, according to the latest Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators report released by Secretary of State Jena Griswold last week, April 25, 2019.
During the first quarter of 2019, 35,838 new business entities were filed with the Secretary of State’s office, contributing to a 5% increase over the past 12 months. There were 159,746 business renewals, which is more than a 7.6% increase over the prior year. There are over 718,000 Colorado businesses in good standing, a record for Colorado.
“I am encouraged by the gains in existing entity renewals and continued gains in new business formations, which have led to a record number of Colorado businesses in good standing,” said Griswold. “This indicates that the business environment in Colorado remains stable, and we are well-positioned to maintain our status as one of the leading state economies nationally.”
The Business Research Division at the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business compiles the report using data from the Secretary of State’s central business registry. The report looks at a variety of factors, such as energy costs, the labor market, and inflation.
From March of 2018 to March of 2019, Colorado added 44,800 jobs. Employment growth is projected to continue to grow over the next two quarters of this year. Data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that Colorado personal income increased by 1.5%, totaling nearly $331 billion.
“Annual growth in filings aligns well with the overall growth we continue to see in the Colorado economy,” said Richard Wobbekind, executive director of the Business Research Division at University of Colorado Leeds School of Business. “As well, the slowing growth of new filings registered in Q1 is consistent with other slowing economic variables.”
Last quarter, business leaders expressed confidence in looking ahead two quarters. This increased slightly after the growth in business entity filings, renewals, and employment all went up over the first quarter of 2019.
Businesswoman Honored For Contributions – Cheers!
DeAnn Skala believed a wine tasting would be a good way to promote the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum (NMHFM) and was instrumental in getting it off the ground. In 1999, she offered her services as a volunteer for the museum and utilized her knowledge of the liquor industry to make the wine tasting happen. She organized the event, sought out donations from her beverage distributors, and in the beginning, rounded up guests to bring potluck items to share.
Over 20 years, the event’s format has evolved several times to include tours of the museum, dedications of new wings and a convention center, a wine tasting followed by a three-course gourmet dinner and Victorian dance, went on hiatus for a short time, to what we now know today as Spirits in the Shaft: a wine, beer, & whiskey tasting event (aka Wine at the Mine). Throughout this time, Skala has volunteered not only her time helping organize and solicit donations for this annual museum event but has also contributed money and supplies from her business, Leadville Liquors.
In 2018, Skala decided it was time to pass the torch and retired from this volunteer role through which she so passionately advocated for the museum. In recognition of her dedication, leadership, & service to the museum’s important historic and economic role in our community, NMHFM presented Skala with the Leadville Miner Award.
Additionally, Skala received honorary Life Member status at the museum. The award was presented to a surprised Skala April 24th during Leadville/Lake County’s Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours mixer.