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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
Colorado Jobs and Labor Force Update: May 2022

Colorado Jobs and Labor Force Update: May 2022

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Colorado’s robust economy has added 405,400 jobs since April 2020, eclipsing the 374,500 jobs the state lost in March and April 2020. This represents a recovery rate of 109.6 percent which is 13.3 percentage points higher than the nationwide recovery rate of 96.3%.

Inflation in Colorado: May 2022 Update

Inflation in Colorado: May 2022 Update

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Inflation in the Denver metropolitan area continues to run hot, particularly for housing. Overall price levels increased 3.4% between January and May and 8.3% over the last 12 months.

Colorado Jobs and Labor Force Update: April 2022

Colorado Jobs and Labor Force Update: April 2022

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Colorado’s robust economy has added 405,400 jobs since April 2020, eclipsing the 374,500 jobs the state lost in March and April 2020. This represents a recovery rate of 108.3 percent which is 13.3 percentage points higher than the nationwide recovery rate of 95%. Colorado added 14,600 jobs in April and March’s employment level was revised downwards by 500.

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Colorado Jobs and Labor Force Update: March 2022

April 15, 2022 • 3 min read


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Colorado’s robust economy has added 391,300 jobs since April 2020, eclipsing the 374,500 jobs the state lost in March and April 2020. This represents a recovery rate of 104.5 percent which is 11.6 percentage points higher than the nationwide recovery rate of 92.9.

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Inflation in Colorado – March 2022 Update

April 12, 2022 • 3 min read


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Inflation in the Denver metropolitan area continues to run hot, particularly for housing. Overall price levels increased 2% between January and March and 9.1% over the last 12 months. The BLS reports housing inflation of 7.9%, but home prices (not a component of CPI) have increased 20.8% YoY through January 2021.

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Fentanyl’s Increasing Toll on the Colorado Economy

April 11, 2022 • 10 min read


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Although the Opioid Crisis has been an ongoing public health issue since the late 1990’s, Colorado’s policymakers, law enforcement, district attorneys, addiction rehab advocates, and researchers have recently narrowed their focus on Schedule II Controlled Substances and more specifically, fentanyl.

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CSI Budget Watch: The FY23 Budget Is Near Final, but Major Priorities Are Not Fully Addressed

April 6, 2022 • 5 min read


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As the Colorado General Assembly nears completion of the state budget there is little doubt that the decisions they make will impact Colorado’s economy for years to come. Known by insiders as the “long bill,” the state budget has passed the State House and is currently being debated by the State Senate.

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Colorado Housing Affordability Trends

March 30, 2022 • 4 min read


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Colorado is an increasingly expensive place to live. Housing prices are surging, and affordability is decreasing. Though there has been a recent increase in building permits, the current housing supply shortage is so large that the increased construction of new homes must be sustained for years, if not increased, to overcome the shortage.

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Colorado Faces Economic, Technological, and Even Geopolitical Barriers to Meeting Its Aggressive Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Goals

Meeting Aggressive Emission Goals

March 29, 2022 • 35 min read


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Governor Polis has declared that Colorado will rely on 100% renewable electricity by 2040, a goal that surpasses even that of President Biden, although achieving such targets will not come without economic and social cost. The challenge is significant, and, by most measurements, the state is behind in meeting its targets.

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Update: The Colorado Crime Wave Did Not Recede In 2021 An Economic Analysis of Crime

March 27, 2022 • 13 min read


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The cost of crime in Colorado in 2021 totaled $31B. This was an increase of $3.5B, or 12.9%, from the cost in 2020, primarily driven by the increases in violent crimes.

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Colorado Jobs and Labor Force Update: February 2022

March 25, 2022 • 3 min read


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Colorado’s robust economy has added 381,800 jobs since April 2020, eclipsing the 374,500 jobs the state lost in March and April 2020.

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Colorado’s Future: The Impact of an Aging Workforce

March 18, 2022 • 13 min read


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In the coming years, mature and older workers will play an increasing role in Colorado’s workforce. Between 2010 and 2040, the category of Coloradan workers over the age of 54 is expected to grow from 1 in every 5 workers, to nearly 1 in every 4.

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Colorado Jobs and Labor Force Update: January 2022

March 14, 2022 • 3 min read


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Colorado added 6,700 jobs in January and December jobs were revised upwards by 28,100. January non-farm employment rose to 2,813,500 which is just below that of January 2020’s 2,820,300. Though employment has nearly returned to the pre-pandemic level of January 2020, job growth needs to accelerate for employment to keep pace with population growth.

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