January 30, 2019
The Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado (Region 9) has released their latest livable wages for the communities throughout southwest Colorado which shows the cost of living continues to rise in most communities. Region 9 has calculated livable wages since 1999, and all five counties show an increase in their livable wage. Only the Town of Rico shows a slight decrease (70 cents) for a single individual from the last report.
A livable wage is defined as the level of income necessary to support a given size of household. When one earns less than a livable wage, he or she is forced to make undesirable choices such as working two or more jobs, longer hours, or giving up basic items such as health insurance or licensed childcare. For a single person renting, the livable wage for each community is as follows: Silverton $13.40, Pagosa Springs $12.11, Dove Creek $11.64, Rico $11.69, Bayfield $12.32, Durango $13.47, Ignacio $11.77, Cortez $10.90, Dolores $10.68, and Mancos $11.81.
The livable wage numbers are based on a basic expenditures budget from the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Colorado 2018. Rent and childcare costs are specific to each community, and a mileage allowance is added for the communities such as Rico, where residents must travel for basic goods and services.
The document is now on Region 9’s website and can be downloaded from the homepage at www.scan.org. For more information, please call Region 9 at 970-247-9621.
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