Achieving economic self-sufficiency is about breaking the cycle of poverty so that families can support their basic needs and thrive free from public assistance. CCLP advances a path to economic self-sufficiency for low-income Coloradans by researching, analyzing and advocating policies that promote sustainable wages for low-income Coloradans. 

CCLP serves as the local partner of the Colorado Self-Sufficiency Standard, which provides an accurate measure of the cost of living in each county in Colorado.

County-Level Data


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CCLP also produces an annual data-driven report, State of Working Colorado, which analyzes the economic landscape in Colorado.

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Counting Colorado is a series of issues briefs produced by CCLP that explores poverty in Colorado. This pair of briefs examine who struggles to make ends meet, opportunities to reduce poverty and the consequences for families and the overall economy for failing to act.


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Brief 1: Education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty

One clear and proven path out of poverty is education. Recent data from the Census Bureau shows, unequivocally, that Coloradans with higher levels of education have lower unemployment and poverty rates and earn more than people with less schooling. Investing in and improving Colorado’s system of public education can enable Coloradans to gain better paying, full-time employment leading to lower poverty rates and a more robust economy.

Read Brief 1


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Brief 2: Low and moderate earners have had lackluster recovery

In 2012, Colorado remained a state divided. Many Coloradans, especially low and middle wage workers, have been let down by the so-called economic recovery. Low and middle income Coloradans have seen their wages stagnate or even decline as a result of the 2007 recession. Meanwhile a small minority of Coloradans earned the majority of all income in Colorado. This small minority held roughly the same amount of wealth in 2007 as in 2012. In 2012, incomes were generally lowest among minority households and single parent families. To stem the growth of income inequality the state needs good jobs and growing wages. Growth in the working class will translate to increased consumer spending, the benefits of which will ripple throughout Colorado’s economy.

Read Brief 2


Tax fairness

In addition, CCLP advocates for tax policies such as the earned income and child care tax credits that promote fairness, reduce income inequality and help low-income families provide for their basic needs. Read our fact sheets to learn more:


Labor & Wages

In today’s changing economy, with income inequality rising and the nature of the workforce and its needs evolving, it is crucial that workers, businesses and policymakers have the information they need to navigate new terrain and set a course toward economic security for all. The research and analysis provided in the issue briefs listed below highlight some of the work CCLP does to help inform policy discussions on wages.



Learn More About Colorado Self-Sufficiency