Region 9 also provides a variety of economic data reports that provide citizens and policy makers access to reliable, unbiased and timely information. Two new reports profile the latest livable wages and retail Sales data for each of the five southwest Colorado counties. The Retail Sales report measures how each community’s retail sales compare to others of similar size across the state.
Silverton, Pagosa Springs, Durango and Cortez compare positively to other communities their size.
Retail trade sectors are also looked at to see whether there is a sales surplus, demonstrating whether communities are drawing in shoppers from outside the region, or leakage, identifying what goods are being purchased outside the region. Region 9 last updated this report in 2006 and the current document is now on Region 9’s website, http://www.scan.org/index.php?page=retailsales.
Region 9 has also calculated livable wages since 1999, and four of the five counties show an increase in their livable wage.
A livable wage is defined as the level of income necessary to support a given size of household. When one earns less than a livable wage, he or she is forced to make undesirable choices such as working two or more jobs, longer hours, or giving up basic items such as health insurance or licensed childcare. For a single person renting, the livable wage for each community is as follows: Silverton $12.55, Pagosa Springs $11.67, Dove Creek $12.11, Rico $12.11, Bayfield $11.96, Durango $12.10, Ignacio $12.68, Cortez $10.66, Dolores $11.52, and Mancos $11.40.
The livable wage numbers are based on a basic expenditures budget for the nation and adjusted for inflation using the Denver/boulder Consumer Price Index. Rent and childcare costs are specific to each community, and a mileage allowance is added for the communities such as Rico, where residents must travel for basic goods and services. Go to http://scan.org/index.php?page=livablewage for the complete document.