Regional organizations issue report on economic health

The Economic Health and Diversity Report, the first report in a series titled “The 2015 Southwest Colorado Index,” was published Nov. 5, according to a press release from Paige Elliott of the Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado.

The report is a snapshot of the overall economic health for the Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado, Elliot explained. It examines specific indicators and trends as well as assists nonprofits and funding entities across Southwest Colorado.

Region 9 includes Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties, as well as the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Indian tribes, while the larger economy encompasses the entire Four Corners area, including southwest Colorado, northwest New Mexico, northeast Arizona, and southeast Utah.

The report points out that people in the area often commute long distances, across state and county lines, to take advantage of better employment opportunities, better shopping or lower real estate prices.

“Population declines throughout the region,” the report found, “were common during the last recession as people followed jobs. Post recession, the region’s economic conditions have stabilized and economic confidence is currently good, as evidenced by a 5-percent increase in the number of jobs since 2010.”

The report looked at the annual average population change for each county, which gives an idea of growth trends in the region from 1970 to 2014.

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This story was posted on November 12, 2015.