Household income drops in Colorado over past 3 years, decade
The Denver Post
September 29, 2010
household income in Colorado fell nearly 3 percent during the
recession, capping a dismal decade of earnings that saw incomes in the
state fall 9 percent, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released
The median Colorado household saw its income fall to
$55,430 last year from an inflation-adjusted $60,785 in 1999, according
to an analysis of the census data by I-News, a nonprofit investigative
news cooperative based in Colorado.
"We're basically still trying
to get back to zero. We're trying to get back to as good as things were
in the 20th century," said Denver economist Michael Orlando. The large
drop in median income over 10 years may reflect the impact of two
recessions and a widening income disparity between the highest and
lowest earners, he said.
The Census Bureau's annual American
Community Survey data released Tuesday gave the first glimpse of the
economic and social fallout of the recession that lasted from December
2007 to June 2009. Colorado's unemployment rate, at 8.2 percent in
August, is about the same as when the recession ended.
of income was felt across all economic levels, but particularly for
those at the bottom. The portion of Colorado households earning less
than $25,000 a year grew to 21.4 percent in 2009 from 20.1 percent in
2007, the census survey reported. Those earning more than $100,000 fell
to 22.7 percent of households last year from 23.3 percent in 2007.
in the Denver-Aurora metropolitan area saw a dramatic drop in incomes
from 2007 to 2009, according to an analysis of the census data by FRESC,
a Denver-based nonprofit that's promoting government action to reduce
unemployment. Their median household income fell 23 percent to $31,870
in 2008 from $41,429 in 2007, and held steady in 2009, FRESC reported.
racial groups didn't see similar losses. Blacks have traditionally had
higher unemployment rates than whites, and the unemployment rate among
blacks in Colorado was 14.7 percent last year compared with 6.9 percent
of whites, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
have been hurt hardest in the recession because many are employed in
service and labor-intensive jobs, the first to go when companies cut
The census data pointed to other employment trends. The
percentage of workers reportedly working from home increased to 6.7
percent in 2009 from 6.0 percent in 2007. Commute times edged up
Employment in sales, construction, production and
transportation was down as a percent of workers. Information jobs and
those in insurance and real estate also fell.
management, professional services, educational services, health care and
arts, entertainment and recreation was up as a percentage of all
The number of self-employed workers fell to 7.0 percent from 7.4 percent.
Greg Griffin: 303-954-1241 or firstname.lastname@example.org