Business Buzz: YVDP releases economic Fast Facts | CraigDailyPress.com

Business Buzz: YVDP releases economic Fast Facts

Yampa Valley Data Partners is a nonprofit that tracks economic figures for Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt counties. The group releases Fast Facts to highlight various economic indicators for each county.

In May, the unemployment rate was 4.9 percent for Moffat County, 4.8 percent for Routt County and 5.3 percent for Rio Blanco County — all of which showed improvement from the same month last year.

The state unemployment rate was 4.3 percent, slightly lower than the three Northwest Colorado counties that YVDP tracks.

The newly released U.S. unemployment rate for June dropped to 5.3 percent, which was the lowest it's been since April 2008.

Energy Real Estate Mining held its place as the largest industry in terms of total wages for both Moffat and Rio Blanco counties in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to YVDP.

Healthcare and Social Assistance led the way as the largest wage-producing industry in Routt County, while the finance and insurance industry paid the highest average weekly wage in both Routt and Moffat counties in the fourth quarter of 2014, while utilities workers brought home the highest average weekly wage in Rio Blanco County.

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February 2015 median list prices for homes were up in Rio Blanco County 13 percent and up in Routt County at 19 percent. Yet median list prices were down by 11 percent in Moffat County compared to the same time the previous year.

Year-to-date coal production through April 2015 was up 92 percent in Rio Blanco County and 9 percent in Moffat County, but was down 35 percent in Routt County compared to the first four months of 2014.

Year-to-date gas production was down 24 to 30 percent in each county.

The end of June found Stagecoach and Yamcolo reservoirs holding at 13 percent and 19 percent above usual water levels respectively. The Yampa River was flowing at 36 percent of its 2004 to 2014 average, with the White River flowing at 79 percent of average.

Is your business ready for Back to School?

With an estimated $68 billion to be spent in the next few weeks, shopping for back-to-school comes in only second to the holidays in the amount of money spent by families, according to the National Retail Federation.

Families with children in grades K-12 will spend $630 with $98 of that on actual school supplies like notebooks, pencils and backpacks. The average college student will spend $900 on back-to-college shopping, $126 of that on dorm or apartment furnishings.

Better Business Bureau Serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming offers the following "quiz" to help you welcome back-to-school shoppers of all ages:

• Does your marketing target kids as well as their parents?

• Do you plan to offer specials to entice college shoppers into your store or to your website or Facebook page?

• Are you on social media?

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