This is the final post summarizing the way the economy has performed in the 10 years after 9/11. The series of posts began in early August and has included a review of tourism; construction, housing, and financial activities; retail sales and personal services; high tech and the military.
• From an employment perspective, tourism (accommodations and food services) has expanded in Colorado since 2001. Competitiveness within the industry has increased, as evidenced by the flat growth in output.
• In Colorado, the airline industry was “restructured” after 9/11.
• The impact of 9/11 was short term. These declines may have been offset by gains in emerging industries,
such as teleconferencing and other means of communications.
Construction, Housing, and Financial Activities
• Construction, housing (prices and foreclosures), and finance are all interrelated. A portion of today’s
problems can be tied to 9/11 and the 2001 recession. There was a mindset that the country could “spend” its way back to prosperity. That mindset created problems when overextended consumers lost their jobs or saw declines in the values of their houses.
• Construction output peaked in 2000 and has dropped-off since. From an employment standpoint, there was a slight decline during the 2001 recession. A much more severe drop-off began in 2008.
• Creative financing allowed financial employment to grow throughout the 2001 recession. Some of the
products that spurred that growth were problematic in the second half of the decade. In turn, layoffs in the
financial sector began in 2007 and have continued since. These declines are a function of lack of activity,
consolidation, automation, bank failures.
• Year-end equity market values are about the same in 2010 and 2000.
Retail Sales and Personal Services
• Sales of retail goods and personal services has become more competitive during the past decade, yet
employment has remained relatively flat. Increased savings in recent years may be an indicator that consumers learned from the 2001 and 2008 recessions that they have limited resources that can be allocated to the consumption of goods and services.
High Tech (Manufacturing; Information; and Professional Technical Services)
• Employment has dropped significantly as a result of increased efficiencies, outsourcing, and offshoring. At
the same time output has risen dramatically. MIPTS is the driver of the state economy. 9/11 played a role in the adoption of high technology goods and services (surveillance, security, teleconferencing, etc.)
• The U.S. military has increased their dependence on Fort Carson since 9/11.The movement of troops in and out of the base have had a noticeable impact on the El Paso County economy.
The “Lost Decade” was a turning point in the structure of the U.S. and Colorado economies. While 9/11 did not cause this transformation, it played a role in accelerating the change that occurred in some industries.
For additional information, see The Colorado Economy Ten Years After September 11, 2001 at cber.co in the Special Reports section.
©Copyright 2011 by CBER.