On April 27, 2022, The Daily Sentinel published an article highlighting Dr. Nathan Perry’s keynote speech during the 2022 Western Colorado Economic Summit. 

His report found that by quite a few metrics, Mesa County’s economy is outpacing national economic growth. The presentation delved into six categories: population forecast, standard of living data, the labor market, industry trends, real estate and national economic issues.

The median household income in Mesa County rose to an all-time high in 2020 ($64,141). Data from 2021 is still to be determined.

“It’s a big increase. The nation did not rise,” Perry said. “The national median household income fell during 2020 due to COVID, so this isn’t just because a bunch of rich people are moving here from Denver. This is the median. … This is the general standard of living going up. I think that’s super positive.”

Real Gross Domestic Product data for Mesa County in 2021 is still to be determined, although statewide, Real GDP increased by 5.75% last year, compared to a national Real GDP increase of 5.67%.

The job market has rebounded from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since April 2020, Mesa County has seen a 20% increase in employment, compared to 16% statewide. As of this March, 76,041 are employed in the county.

There are still challenges in the labor market that Perry identified, such as lack of childcare, skills mismatches, work culture mismatches between employers and new workers, and the factor Perry identified as the most significant — baby boomers retiring at earlier ages than anticipated.

Read the full article at: CMU’s Perry details Mesa County’s economic growth at summit | Western Colorado | gjsentinel.com