High Country Foreclosures Cloud One Economic Outlook

January 12 2011, 1:00 PM

The latest economic report from the largest bank in Colorado, Wells Fargo, offers little good news. Two economists for the bank say although we're recovering, "the state is lagging the nation" in several areas, including job growth, as foreclosure rates climb again (via the Denver Business Journal). 

Life is particularly rough in the high country, where "an unprecedented number of homeowners" are facing foreclosure, according to The Denver Post's exhaustive analysis of the trend. Whereas 2009 saw many second homes and timeshares go into foreclosure, 2010 was a year in which workers in towns like Gypsum, Eagle, Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, and Rifle lost their homes, as construction jobs dried up. In Eagle County, home to Vail and Beaver Creek ski areas, 618 foreclosures were filed in 2010, eclipsing the 1987 record of 599.

The Associated Press' monthly economic stress analysis points to more of the same: High unemployment and foreclosure rates continue in Mountain states because of a loss in jobs related to drilling, construction, and tourism. Alan Beaulieu, president of the Institute for Trend Research, recently told the Denver chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth that the Mile High City is reporting the weakest job growth of 82 metro areas he's looked at, and jobs have been cut "deeply" here. He advises business managers to consider boosting their labor forces as the recovery starts this year and next, noting that corporate profits are up "tremendously" in the past two years, writes the Post.