Archuleta county non-labor income is large and growing

Data highlights from Headwaters Economics

Executive Summary

Non-labor income (NLI) is one of the largest and fastest growing sources of income in the West, constituting 34 percent of total personal income in 2011; and 60 percent of net growth in real personal income during the last decade. In many counties non-labor income is the single largest contributor to income, particularly in rural areas.

Comprised of three main types—investments, age related payments, and hardship payments—non-labor income is affected by the stock market, retiring Baby Boomers, and changes to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Among western counties, non-labor income makes up 41 percent of total personal income and is growing, representing 60 percent of net personal income growth in the last decade. 

Archuleta County Highlights

Demographically, Archuleta County is diverse in terms of personal incomes.  There are a lot of people here who are very well off and may live off savings and investments and tend to be older.  But there are also needy here that live in or near poverty level and may receive hardship-related income.

  • 51% or  $200M of the $ 392 M in total personal income is non-labor income.
  • 29% or $115M of the $392M in personal income in Archuleta County is investment-related.
  • 14% or $54M of the personal income in Archuleta County is age-related.
  • 6% or $22M of the personal income in Archuleta County is hardship-related.

Investment-related income

29% or $115M of the $392M in personal income in Archuleta County is investment-related.  Nationwide, investment-related income makes up 19% of personal income. Investment-related income is dividends, interest, and rent – is typically the largest share of non-labor income. Counties with higher shares of investment-related income are older and have less poverty, higher educational attainment, and growth in sectors such as health care, construction, and real estate. Resort destinations contribute to this trend. 

Age-related income

14% or $54M of the personal income in Archuleta County is age-related.  Nationwide, age-related income makes up 12% of personal income. Age-related payments include Social Security and Medicare. Counties with a larger share of these payments are older and have lower household income and average wages; along with higher poverty and unemployment rates. In most counties with high age-related payments, population aging is due to the out-migration of working-age people which is happening in Archuleta County because of a seasonal, tourist based economy with few year-round, good paying jobs.

Hardship-related income

6% or $22M of the personal income in Archuleta County is hardship-related.  Hardship-related income is the smallest share of non-labor income in nearly all counties. These payments – such as Medicaid and food stamps – are more evenly distributed among rural and non-rural counties. Counties with higher hardship payments usually are associated with poverty, lower education attainment, unemployment, and out-migration.

See more analysis, sortable data table, and interactive show how this important source of income impacts western counties

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