Jobs Report Foreshadows Housing Instability for Colorado’s Vulnerable Workers: The Time is Now for Colorado to Assess and Plan for Longer-Term Impacts

517,000 workers in 406,500 Colorado lower-income households rely on employment in one of the four industries most impacted by COVID-related job losses: Retail Trade; Accommodation and Food Service; Arts, Entertainment and Recreation; and Health Care and Social Assistance.  If forecasts prove correct, a significant share of the job losses will be permanent. This brief argues that the time is now for Colorado to explore sustainable solutions, beyond emergency aid, for those affected by permanent job losses.  The first step in crafting sustainable solutions is to better understand who is affected.  The workers and households most adversely affected are:

  • Majority Female: 60 percent of the workers in these industries are female
  • Plurality in Prime Working Years: Just over four in ten of these workers are over age 44
  • Concentrated in Rental Housing: 56 percent are rental households
  • Experiencing Housing Cost Stress Pre-COVID: 223,500 households were spending over 30 percent of their income on housing before COVID-related job losses
  • Single Parents: Three in ten cost stressed households are headed by a single parent
  • Housing Vulnerable Children: 141,500 children live in housing cost stressed households with a parent working in the affected industries.  110,000 of these children are being raised by a single parent.
  • Lacking a College Degree: Among the housing cost stressed, 183,000 workers lack a college degree

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Who Are Colorado’s School-Age Children Without Access to Internet?

Nearly 1 in 20 school-age children in Colorado who are living in households without internet. This brief is designed to help Colorado leaders and decision makers better understand who these children are, where they live, and how Colorado’s digital divide has the potential to widen the state’s existing educational achievement gap. Specifically, the 54,000 school-age children in Colorado living in households reporting no internet access are:

  • Overwhelmingly Hispanic: Two-thirds of children living without internet are Hispanic.
  • Disproportionally Young: 49 percent of children without internet access are in elementary school.
  • Largely Lower Income: 52 percent of children without internet live in households earning less than $50,000, with 25 percent in households learning less than $25,000.
  • Geographically Dispersed: These children live in all regions of the state, but in higher numbers in Southwest Colorado and in the metro Denver region.
  • Children of Essential Workers: A majority, 57 percent, of these children have at least one parent working in an essential industry.

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How Will Municipal Sales Tax Performance be Affected by COVID-Induced Income and Wealth Effects?

Municipal sales tax revenues will respond to the COVID recession differently and depending on the composition of the local tax base.  This brief explores how the revenues for a select group of Colorado cities, specifically those that are members of Municipal Fiscal Facts, will respond to the changes in household income and wealth likely to result from the current COVID recession.

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