Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Where the money is ... and isn't

Posted By on Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 10:50 AM

El Paso County's average weekly wage was among the lowest among the state's nine largest counties in December 2009, according to data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Weekly pay here averaged $863, compared to $1,094 in Arapahoe, $1,069 in Boulder, $1,154 in Denver, $1,179 in Douglas and $969 in Jefferson. The three that reported lower average weekly wages were Adams at $849, Larimer at $841, and Weld at $772.

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The state's average weekly wage was $965, and the national figure, $942.

El Paso County reported the lowest percentage drop in employment from December 2008 to December 2009 at 3.7 percent, compared to the state's nine largest counties and the state as a whole, which reported a decline of 4.9 percent.

As for the fourth quarter of last year, employment rose by 3.6 percent in the county, fourth highest gain in the state. Douglas County reported the biggest gain in employment in the nation at 26.1 percent.

Check out the complete report.

Some argue that keeping wages low is a good thing, because it attracts businesses looking to keep operating costs in check. Others say low wages reduce buying power, which causes the local economy to stagnate. What do you think?

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