Southeast Wyoming is reporting good economic growth and employment numbers. At the Economic Forecast luncheon today in Cheyenne, Cheyenne LEADS CEO Randy Bruns said the gross domestic product for the city in 2012 was 2.42 percent. The first two quarters of 2013 also showed above-average job growth, and rising retail and home sales.
Bruns highlighted construction all over the city as one contributor to the economic picture. “Some of our growth is being driven by primary industry, expansion of the industrial sector, particularly as it needs access to rail, with the development of the Swan Rail Park. But there are 5 other business parks in the community that are seeing activity,” Bruns said.
But he also said that despite Cheyenne’s ability to create good jobs in the past several years, not all of the workers are choosing to live in the city. The number of commuters has grown in the past two decades and they take their money with them when they go home.
“If you work in Cheyenne but live in Fort Collins you’ve made a choice, you’re paying a price, in time, in commute that takes away from your family and your recreation time,” Bruns said. “You’re paying a price in increased taxes. And you’re making a choice to do that for a reason. We need to be asking those folks why, what are those reasons.”
Bruns says the demographic that tends to work in Cheyenne but live elsewhere is young and working high paying jobs. He adds that it’s the very demographic Wyoming wants to attract and keep.