La Plata strong despite mixed construction outlook
Herald Denver Bureau
DENVER – La Plata County’s economy continues to grow, with stronger employment rates than state and national averages, according to the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business.
The school’s annual economic forecast included a section on Southwest Colorado’s most populous county.
The construction sector led the county in 2007, accounting for 12.6 percent of income. But it is facing troubles because of the national downturn in real estate. The inventory of unsold homes in Durango is building while the price is dropping.
However, major construction projects at Fort Lewis College and the Southern Ute casino are helping to cushion the blow.
The county’s banks remain strong, and deposits increased 6 percent from June 2007 to June 2008, according to the CU report.
The energy industry accounted for 6.7 percent of county income in 2008, and it should continue to provide significant income through jobs, royalties and tax revenue, the report said.