The 2000s were a "dismal" decade for the state, according to a new report by Colorado State University regional economist Martin Shields (CSU PR news). After adjusting for inflation, Shields finds that Colorado's median household income in 2009 was $55,930—$4,100 less than in 1999, a 6.8 percent drop. He also found that the unemployment rate in 2010 for people with a high school degree or less was much worse than for other workers: 16.9 percent, up from 9.2 percent in 2005.
The upshot is that the economy is continuing to show signs of recovery. The Western Slope showed the most job growth in the state in the past decade: 12,200 jobs in areas such as mining, government, education, and health care (Denver Post). Denver-area hotels are also faring better, with per-room revenues expected to climb for a second consecutive year (Denver Business Journal).
Colorado coal mining sits at a crossroads.
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