Economy

The United States added more than 200,000 jobs last month, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While wages and jobs are growing in the Mountain West, they aren’t outpacing the skyrocketing cost of housing. 

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It's already been a noteworthy season for Steamboat Ski Resort in Northern Colorado. In October alone, the mountain saw 63 inches of snow, a record high. And that's why the resort's Loryn Duke said it was an easy decision to open on November 15—it's earliest opening ever.

U.S. household debt is on the rise again. And states in the Mountain West are seeing some of the highest levels in the country.

Four likely scenarios forecasting the next few years
Rob Godby

Gov. Mark Gordon announced an effort called Power Wyoming this week to study new revenue scenarios for Wyoming. The group presented data to the legislature's Joint Revenue Committee showing the state can no longer rely on revenues from the energy industry.

Moody’s Analytics just looked at the economic consequences of a report by Blue Cross Blue Shield on millennial health. And it’s not good.   

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

The total value of Wyoming's outdoor recreation economy was $1.6 billion in 2017. That's according to recently released numbers from the U.S Bureau of Economic Analysis.

KAMILA KUDELSKA

For a long time, ski resorts in the Mountain West were able to reach a full staff just by offering employees a season pass. It was the kind of deal a ski bum couldn't turn down.

A new analysis from the Bozeman-based non-profit Headwaters Economics shows that the outdoor recreation industry is growing more than twice as fast as the overall economy, and the industry has an especially outsized role in the Mountain West.

The Mountain West will be getting at least two new Amazon warehouses this year, including Idaho’s first in Nampa.

Personal income is on the rise across the country, and some of the biggest increases are in Mountain West states, according to data published last week by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Steamboat Springs, like many of Colorado's high country resort communities, is grappling with how it wants to grow.

The city itself has more than doubled in population since 1990. Seasonal tourist booms formerly contained to summer and winter have bled over into spring and fall. With its increasingly sought after outdoor amenities, like hot springs, camping, hiking, mountain biking and skiing, the town swells with visitors most weekends out of the year.

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Wyoming's personal income has increased by 6 percent in the second quarter of this year. The increase is higher than both the region and the rest of the country.

California is king of U.S. agriculture. But on a per capita basis, no state brings in more farm revenue than Idaho.


Cody Community Review

Cody is participating in the Community Review Project. The project is meant to help local leaders develop future goals. The Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming Extension Office collaborated to launch the survey.

Immigrants make up more than ten percent of the population in our region. And according to a report, that can provide big economic benefits.

A recent report looking at the best states to work in doesn't show the Mountain West in a particularly good light. Only one state in our region ranked in the top half.

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The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded a Campbell County organization a grant aimed at diversifying the economy.

Since the Great Recession, personal income and jobs have grown across the country and throughout our region. But that growth is uneven.

Cody Labs

On June 11, the parent company of Cody Labs, the Philadelphia-based Lannette Company announced it will be closing down its operations in Cody. This came as a shock to the community. The business development agency Forward Cody was at the forefront, trying to keep the company open.

Catherine Wheeler

In January 2018, gun manufacturer Weatherby announced it was moving from its home in California and resettling in Sheridan. The company makes rifles, shotguns and ammunition. The move signified a chance for more economic diversification in the Sheridan area. Last month, Weatherby opened for business north of downtown. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler asked owner and CEO Adam Weatherby why he decided to move the business to Wyoming.

HEBER CITY — Tucked below the jagged, snowy Wasatch range 20 miles south of Park City, the Heber Valley looks like a miniature Switzerland. Dairy cows graze in bright green pastures and a small farm sells artisan cheeses and milk. 

Cody Labs

Last week, the Philadelphia-based Lannette Company, which owns Cody Labs, announced it will close all operations in Cody. Cody Labs produces generic prescription pain medications. But the actions of some in Cody may indicate workers and officials there are not giving up hope.

If you’re in the market for a new tent or fleece jacket, you could see prices for those products go up. The Trump Administration is proposing new tariffs on items like these that are produced in China.

 


Kamila Kudelska

If you've never been to a Shopko, it's similar to a small Walmart. You can get groceries, apparel and lawn products all in one place. They're usually found in small towns.

Back in March, Shopko announced it will be closing all its locations, and it's a big deal for small towns. This is a big deal but towns throughout the Big Horn Basin are being proactive about the news.

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Four communities in the Big Horn Basin joined forces to find solutions when they learned Shopko would be leaving their towns. The retail store's bankruptcy will affect 13 communities in Wyoming.

Rocky Mountain Power plans to break ground on a $3.1 billion-dollar statewide wind energy project this week.

Tennessee Watson / Wyoming Public Radio

Gov. Mark Gordon addressed the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees Thursday.

Jim Bridger Power Plant
Pacificorp

Rocky Mountain Power is proposing a unique strategy to lower emissions at the coal-fired Jim Bridger power plant near Rock Springs: reduce its capacity. The utility is required under federal law and within Wyoming's state implementation plan to reduce certain emissions before 2022. Enacted in 1999, the regional haze rule, is meant to limit pollutants that disrupt visibility like nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide.

Leslie L./Flickr Creative Commons

Earlier this month, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture submitted its application to the federal government outlining the state's plan for regulating hemp growing in the state. Legislation passed this year by lawmakers provided funding to move forward on the plan, but Wyoming's Hemp Program Coordinator Scott McDonald said the U.S. Department of Agriculture won't look at state regulations for the industry until they've finished designing federal rules. 

According to the Census Bureau, Western towns with fewer than 5000 people have grown on average in recent years. Meanwhile, populations in similar sized towns in the Northeast and Midwest have gotten smaller.

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