Economic Contribution of the Green Industry to Colorado’s Economy

What does our industry contribute to the state’s economy?

A study released in January 2017 by Colorado State University researchers reveals information about the sales, job growth, and wages within the Colorado green industry. Allison Bauman and Dr. Dawn Thilmany McFadden, of CSU’s Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, published “Economic Contribution of the Green Industry to Colorado’s Economy: A 2016 Update.”

An executive summary of the study offers the following key findings:

  • The total economic contribution of Colorado’s green industry in 2015 was $2.8 billion
    • Nursery, garden center and farm supply stores have the largest sectoral contribution of $980 million, followed by landscaping services contributing $716 million and golf courses and country clubs contributing $525 million. 
  • From 1999 to 2015, Colorado’s green industry grew by 90% from $900 million in sales to $1.7 billion. Since 2011, the industry has grown by 24%, outpacing the economic growth of the state during the same time period by 8%. 
    • As of 2015, Colorado’s green industry has recovered to pre-recession sales levels with 2015 sales 2% higher than 2007 sales (despite a notable dip for several years following 2008).
    • Nursery, garden center, and farm supply stores and landscaping services comprise over half of all green industry sales, representing 30% and 22% of total sales, respectively. 
  • From 1999-2015 green industry employment in Colorado grew by 23%, from 35,000 to 43,000, outpacing employment growth across the state by 4%. 
    • Unlike revenue, employment has not yet recovered from pre-recession levels, with 2015 green industry employment levels remaining 1% below 2007 levels. 
    • Landscaping services provides the largest share of green industry jobs with 21,000 jobs annually, accounting for 48% of green industry employment. 
  • From 1999-2015 green industry wages have increased by 87% from $636 million to $1.5 billion. Pre-recession wages peaked in 2007 at $1.3 million and since that time have increased steadily to $1.5 million, a 14% increase.

Read or download the full study here .

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