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Research

Common Sense Institute (CSI) strives to develop insightful and educational research on the most critical debates facing Colorado. CSI employs rigorous research techniques and dynamic modeling to evaluate the potential impact of issues on the Colorado economy and individual opportunity. CSI provides elected officials, policy makers and Coloradans with facts and data-driven analysis to help make informed decisions about the biggest issues facing the state. CSI research has also sparked innovative policy solutions and bipartisan, solutions-based discussion about the future of Colorado.

The Common Sense Digest
2021 Year in Review

2021 Year in Review

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Team & board changes; events discussing issues, policy measures, and research; development of research on the most critical debates facing Colorado.

Colorado Jobs and Labor Force Update: November 2021

Colorado Jobs and Labor Force Update: November 2021

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Despite concerns of rising inflation and a new COVID-19 variant, November job growth in Colorado remained relatively strong at 9,800 jobs. This is above the monthly average job growth needed to fully recover to a pre-pandemic employment-to-population ratio by 2023.

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Impacts of Saving Colorado Businesses on the Current $5.3 Billion Tax Bill: Analysis of the Governor’s Budget Request to Contribute $600 Million to the State’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund

January 17, 2022 • 9 min read


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Due to the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the state government’s policy responses, Colorado’s unemployment levels spiked in early 2020 and caused the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to become deeply insolvent.

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Colorado Jobs and Labor Force Update: November 2021

December 17, 2021 • 3 min read


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Despite concerns of rising inflation and a new COVID-19 variant, November job growth in Colorado remained relatively strong at 9,800 jobs. This is above the monthly average job growth needed to fully recover to a pre-pandemic employment-to-population ratio by 2023.

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Inflation in Colorado – November 2021

December 10, 2021 • 2 min read


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In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and trillions of dollars of pandemic relief spending by the federal government, the rate of inflation in the U.S. has grown sharply in 2021 and become one of the most-discussed economic issues of the day. High inflation levels erode savings and increase the costs of daily commutes, groceries, and other consumer goods.

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The Colorado Crime Wave: An Economic Analysis of Crime and the Need for Data Driven Solutions

December 9, 2021 • 19 min read


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The total cost of crime in Colorado exceeded $27 billion in 2020. While costs are disproportionately felt by victims, this implies an average cost per Coloradan of $4,762 per year. The 2021 costs will grow, as the violent crime rate is on pace to be the highest since 1994, a 10% annual increase.

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Colorado Budget: Then and Now

December 1, 2021 • 12 min read


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Colorado Budget Then and Now illuminates the meaningful changes in Colorado state spending over the last twenty years. The following figures provide a summary overview of state spending across different state funds and agencies. The trends shown reflect the shifting priorities brought on as a direct result of the laws and budgets passed each legislative session.

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Colorado Jobs and Labor Force Update: October 2021

November 19, 2021 • 3 min read


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Driven by labor shortages and increased employment opportunities, job growth in October surged to its highest monthly amount since July. Labor force participation of mothers during the pandemic lagged consistently up until September. Their overall participation rate in October remained higher than pre-pandemic levels for the second straight month.

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The Economic Footprint of Homelessness in Metro Denver

November 4, 2021 • 31 min read


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Common Sense Institute has partnered with several local organizations and leaders to conduct a three-phase project to understand the many challenges and types of homelessness. This is Phase one of this project and is focused on the current resources dedicated to the homeless in Metro Denver.

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Homelessness Ecosystem Analysis Phase 2

October 22, 2021 • 78 min read


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Homelessness is a visible outcome of a system that does not consistently work for everyone. This report is the result of efforts to understand the systemic factors that impact homelessness in the Metropolitan Denver area through a human-centered systems design lens.

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Colorado Jobs and Labor Force Update: September 2021

3 min read


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Although September job growth was lower than what is needed to achieve a full recovery by January 2023, adjusted for population growth, Colorado reached an important recovery milestone last month. For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the labor force participation rate for Colorado mothers exceeded its pre-pandemic level.

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Potential Reach of Proposition 119 “The Learning Enrichment and Academic Progress Program (LEAP)”

October 19, 2021 • 11 min read


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Proposition 119 on the 2021 Colorado ballot proposes to establish the Learning Enrichment and Academic Progress Program (LEAP).

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