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A smart city diversifies its economy and seeks more jobs that pay top dollar

​Over the last several years, we’ve all heard the drumbeat of Denver’s economy doing itself well by making concerted efforts to diversify away from “just oil and gas.” But what does the data behind the thought suggest? A look at wages and location quotients (LQ)—especially compared against other regional economies—helps explain. Simply put, an LQ explores the occupational make-up of a metro by comparing the composition of jobs in the area relative to the national average. 

Among the Mountain West’s highest wage-paying sectors, we average a 1.4 location quotient. Translation? Denver boasts a greater than average concentration of better paying occupations, and that certainly benefits CRE across the board, particularly for retail and industrial. Higher wages mean more purchasing power, means more retail sales, means more need to store and distribute goods, and so on and so forth.

Source: JLL Research, Bureau of Labor Statistics

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