Through 2007, the green industry in Colorado has seen sustained growth: the $1.8 billion directly contributed increases to $3.3 billion when you consider its impact on broader economic activity and employment generation in the Colorado economy. Because of its labor intensity, the local impact of this industry is fairly strong.
The green industry provides over 35,000 jobs, an increase of 12,000 jobs since 1994 (tripling in size in less than 15 years), with $1.2 billion in payroll (up $750 million from 1994). These increases are indicative of the demand for green services and the ability to hire workers on a more year-round basis (resulting in greater earnings per worker). The average wage earned has also increased to an average of $35,318 annually, up from $26,159 in 2001. The industry has come along way in providing better compensation to its workers, but like other sectors of agriculture, has struggled to find enough workers.
The highest growth sectors within the Green Industry during the 1990’s and early 2000’s were wholesale nursery, tree and sod production, landscape design, installation and maintenance, public and private golf courses, and nursery/garden centers.Questions to Consider:
Given its need for land, water and workers, many view the green industry as a competitor to food-based agriculture, while others note that the growth in Green industries signals yet another changing preference of consumers for aesthetic surroundings.
How can the green and traditional ag industries work together to benefit resource issues (water, labor) they are both struggling with?
Are Green Industry stakeholders at more risk of a downturn during tough economic times? Or will those who would have normally changed homes likely to reinvest in upgrading their current landscape and add more value and sweat equity to their homes?