Data points to an improving local economy
Regional Economist November 4, 2011
The news about the Northern Colorado economy is definitely improving.
Companies in the local alternative energy industry are announcing new orders, new startups, new funding for research and new mergers. The health care industry continues to be recognized as having the best facilities in the U.S., and CSU and Fort Collins continue to receive "Best of" recognitions. These awards will encourage even more businesses and retirees to relocate to Northern Colorado.
The data reinforces this good news. More than 5,200 more workers in Northern Colorado were employed in September than in the same month in 2010. The unemployment rate has dropped from 7.8 in September 2010 to 7 this past September. Residential housing permits issued in 2011 through August increased to 1,017 from 966 in the same period in 2010, a 5.3 percent increase. Retail sales through June were 19.7 percent higher in 2011 than in 2010. All these statistics suggest the Northern Colorado economy is recovering much faster than the U.S. economy.
So, what does this mean for the construction industry, the main driver of the Northern Colorado economy?
A little context is important in answering that question.
Construction spending added more than $1.7 billion to the