Author: Derek Draplin


Outdoor recreation accounted for 3.1% of Colorado’s economy last year

(The Center Square) – Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy made up 3.1% of the state’s total economy last year, according to data released by the federal government.

Outdoor recreation contributed $12.2 billion in total to the state’s economy and employed 149,140 people in 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), which released the data this week.

Colorado’s largest conventional activity was snow sports, like skiing and snowboarding, which contributed $1.7 billion, while other outdoor recreation activities contributed almost $1.75 billion.

Colorado is one of 11 states where outdoor recreation made up 3.1% or more of a state’s economy. The states where outdoor recreation added the highest percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) include Hawaii (5.8%), Vermont (5.2%), Montana (4.7%), Florida (4.4%), Wyoming (4.2%), and Maine (4.2%).

Nationally, outdoor recreation made up 2.1% of the country’s GDP in 2019, contributing $459.8 billion, according to the BEA.

The Boulder-based Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) said the industry plays a key role in the country’s economic recovery as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

“The industry is a vital component of national, state and local economies, as well as an important catalyst to America’s economic recovery,” OIA Executive Director Lise Aangeenbrug said in a statement.

OIA said it anticipates the industry’s figures will increase in 2020, “given the rise in outdoor participation during COVID-19.”

Activities on federal lands in Colorado contributed $7.4 billion to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) and supported over 62,400 jobs last year, according to data released last month by the U.S. Department of Interior, which manages over 9 million acres of federal land in the state.

Those activities include energy and mineral development, which contributed $5.5 billion in added value, and recreation, which added $1.2 billion to GDP.

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Colorado ranks among the best states for job hunters

Colorado ranks among the top states in the country for job hunters, according to a recent study.

WalletHub ranked the Centennial State third overall, behind only Massachusetts (No. 1) and Washington (No. 2), in its “2019 Best & Worst States for Jobs” list.

The personal finance website ranked all 50 states into two categories, job market and economic environment, using 33 different metrics.

“WalletHub compared the 50 states across 33 key indicators of job-market strength, opportunity and a healthy economy,” the website said. “Our data set ranges from employment growth to median annual income to average commute time.”

Colorado ranked second overall in job market and 12th in economic environment.

Rounding out the top 10 in the rankings were Vermont, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Delaware, New Jersey, California, and Rhode Island.

Colorado’s economy has also been ranked top in the country, and the state ranks favorably for taxpayers.

Denver, Aurora, and Colorado Springs ranked among the best large cities in the country to start a business, according to a WalletHub list released last month.

Colorado employers added 9,500 jobs from March to April and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.4 percent in the state. The prior month, employers in the state added over 6,000 jobs.

Almost every city in the state saw population growth in 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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