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While the Yampa Valley is fortunate to have a strong, diverse and growing economy, prevailing wages are not keeping pace with the area's high cost of living. Certain communities are particularly expensive, with Steamboat Springs' cost of living approximately 10-15% higher than the cost of living in Craig. The economic vitality of the entire Yampa Valley is linked to a satisfied, well-trained workforce that is paid a "livable wage". A livable wage will retain an experienced workforce, reduce poverty levels, increase the capability to purchase or rent housing near jobs, reduce the need to commute, and contribute to creating a sustainable economy.
Source: Colorado Department of Labor and Employment
Although wages are trending upward, the majority of wage earners are employed in relatively low paying, tourism-related service jobs. Indeed, many wage earners are working two or more jobs in the service sector. Construction workers and government employees earn more than the average wage, which equaled $23,609 for all industries in 1995. High paying mining and energy industry wages are stable.
"Our economy is strong, diverse and growing."
Healthy Communities Initiative