Coronavirus could cost Colorado 180,000 jobs, report says

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The economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak could lead to 180,000 jobs lost in Colorado, according to a scenario in a recent report.

The Common Sense Policy Roundtable, a free enterprise think tank, released a report that uses “dynamic economic forecasting and simulation model” to project two scenarios.

In one scenario, 50 percent loss in all sales across several industries during one quarter would result in 183,000 jobs and over $9 billion in personal income lost. In another scenario where there’s a 50 percent loss of sales for 45 days (rather than a whole quarter), 91,800 jobs and $4.6 billion in personal income would be lost.

The industries used in the scenarios were retail, arts, entertainment and recreation, accomodation, and food service and drinking places.

“The events of the last two weeks are unprecedented. There have been no greater policy shifts enacted in history,” CSPR Director of Policy and Research Chris Brown said in a statement. “While we remain hopeful that the most significant impacts of the actions to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 will be felt in the short-term, it is important to be aware and consider the potential longer-term impacts on the economy as well.”

Colorado’s economy is already seeing the impacts of the coronavirus, with spikes in unemployment claims, and the closure of ski areas, schools, many “non-essential” businesses, and dine-in services restaurants and bars.

The report cites two recent economic forecasts from the Legislative Council Staff and the Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB), which both projected significant hits to the state’s budget. The Legislative Council Staff forecast projected general fund revenue to be reduced by almost $400 million in 2019-20 and $750 million in fiscal year 2020-21.

Another report by the American Hotel and Lodging Association projects almost 72,000 hotel-supported jobs in Colorado’s hotel industry could be lost because of the coronavirus outbreak.

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