The United States economy fell into a deep and severe recession in December 2007. The Great Recession officially ended in June 2009 but its impact continues to be felt in Colorado and across the nation. Across several broad indicators, the Colorado economy is showing important signs of recovery. But many Coloradans—especially minorities, single parent families, and low-income workers—continue to struggle to make ends meet.
Unemployment and poverty rates remain high and wages for those at the bottom of the earning spectrum have stagnated. Economic gains are not evenly distributed across the state and income is increasingly concentrated among a small share of high earners. Productivity has become divorced from wages over the last decade. The conditions that will propel the economy forward—low unemployment, a living wage for low-income workers and broadly shared economic growth—are still lacking.
State of Working Colorado 2014 is intended to inform the public policy dialogue at the Capitol and across the state. It is a collection of critical data designed to look beyond broad-based economic indicators to better understand how the economy is working for Coloradans.