Southwest Economic Outlook: a review of the macro-economic landscape and a look into Southwest Colorado

Economists shed light on the economic landscape during the 32nd Annual Southwest Economic Outlook hosted by Fort Lewis College Katz School of Business. Fort Lewis College economics associate professor Nate Peach highlighted concerns about rising living costs impacting economic sentiments, especially among the youth.

Key Takeaways:

  • Unemployment rates are expected to remain low in 2024, but talent retention is challenging due to housing costs.
  • The cost of living has increased by 20% since April 2020, contributing to economic pessimism.
  • Local incomes struggle to match inflation, hindering wage growth and creating a pessimistic outlook.
  • Housing costs in La Plata County hit a near 40-year low for listings, with prices outpacing wage growth.
  • A family of four needs a 9% wage increase to meet the rising cost of living.
  • Despite challenges, the region displays optimism, as revealed in a survey by the city of Durango.

Read more about the insights shared by economists Nate Peach and Richard Wobbekind in the full coverage by the Durango Herald and on our social media accounts.