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NOW here is the financial discussion. Presentation:…
Rich Wobbekind from CU up now, with Brian Lewandowski. Both economists who typically do the annual forecast that are big events. Wobbekind usually very cheery, but then the forecasts have all been good in the past few years.
"The economy was on strong footing prior" to COVID, Wobbekind says.
"The data lags. ... We know we've seen pretty dramatic impacts."
Wobbekind: "We were on fantastic footing." All we talked about was low unemployment, how we couldn't find workers. "How dramatically that has shifted."
"Now, we've fallen off the wagon."
1Q will be slightly negative GDP growth, we think, Wobbekind says, bc we had a couple good months.
2Q will be -25% or -30% GDP growth
This is nationally.
Wobbekind: We think recovery will look like a W, with a future surge and slowed economy, and then a "reasonable" economic health after.

That's important for later bc city staff models are based on different "shapes" of recovery and the W one is the worst.
This huge increase in unemployment is different from 2008 bc it was so sudden, but the time to recovery will also probably be quicker as well, bc our financial system didn't tank.
Wobbekind: Nationally, we will quickly go over 20M unemployed. 15% or "in that range", from 3.5% at the beginning of the year.
End of year? 8%, Wobbekind says
Next year: Possibly 6%
But this depends on how well ppl comply and therefore what happens with COVID, he says.
"Fundamentally, (this is) a government shutdown of the economy, which we've never done before."
Consumer confidence is up from last month, Wobbekind shares. So they seem to think this is "dramatic but not long-lasting." They are 70% of the economy, so that's important bc it drives recovery.
Biz confidence now: 29.7
Biz confidence at the height of the recession: 29.9

BUT, the six-month outlook now is higher.
No industry has a job gain in 2020 (so far) but obviously some have bigger drops than others (transportation, hotels, food service)
Now we're getting into Colorado data, which will be followed by Boulder numbers. Pay closer attention; I'll tweet pertinent info.
Colorado had third-lowest unemployment before this. Now we're at No. 31. Hundreds of thousands of claims filed through April.
Lewandowski taking over. "If you sum up these last five weeks, we've had over 300,000 jobless claims in Colorado." Not that many over the past three years combined.
10.7% unemployment
Per claims; the actual rate itself is 4.5%. The data lags, Lewandowski says.
Boulder County: 7th-highest number of claims total BUT
53rd as percent of total employment (Lowest among urban counties)
So unemployment is the highest it's been in a long time locally, but "there's some attribute in Boulder County that's causing us to outperform the state," Lewankdowski says.
More women than men filing claims; more ppl aged 25-34, too.
Interesting and not in the presentation; Lewandowski just shared that extraneously.
Lewandowski: "We've been running our economic model weekly. ... We think things will get better and then ... retrench a little bit" as economy "starts and stops" similar to further surges in COVID.
The "front line" of this crisis has been tourism, retail and services (hair salons, mechanics, etc.) that are 25.7% of Colorado's jobs. And it's lowest paying: just 13.2% of total wages
Lewandowski: These "are our most vulnerable" workers in the state.
1.6M jobs pay below average wages. 58.9% of jobs. Average wage: $42,252
1.1M jobs pay above average wages. 41%. Average wage: $88,117

(This is slide 15)
No jobs are "protected" from this downturn, Lewandowski says. We expect losses across every industry.
The data we have now "is only showing part of the story," Lewandowski says. "When we get the April data, this is going to look much, much worse."
In the Great Recession, U.S. lost 6.3% of jobs
Colorado lost 6.6% (but recovered so much faster)
Boulder County lost 6.8% and recovered slower than the state but faster than the nation
Lewandowski: "Boulder has some strengths going into this, and we have some weaknesses going into this."
In Boulder County, the heavily impacted industries are 24% of total employment and 10% of wages.
116,873 below-average paying jobs, 62.5%. Average wage: $46,854
70,075 above-average paying jobs, 37.5%. Average wage: $116,849
Talking tourism.
• Boulder: 11.7% of employment are related to tourism
• Broomfield: 9.4%

That's versus some ski counties.
Pitkin: 39%
Summit: 41.1%
"Our Front Range communities are very diversified, but 80% of tourism jobs in the state are" here, Lewandowski says. "No one is unscathed from a downturn in the tourism industry."
It's estimated Boulder County will lose 5% of jobs, based on performance in past downturns.

"We think restaurant recovery will happen faster along the metropolitan Front Range" bc it's serving locals.
Nationally, panic buying was evident, Lewandowski says. 26% increase in grocery store sales from Feb to March.
Before COVID, Colorado retail sales were up year-over-year. We don't know what it looks like post-COVID, bc that's not in yet.
As with any economic presentation, I'm getting tired / bored already. We're on slide 32 of 102(!)
Locally (staff will talk more about this later) Boulder's sales tax collection as already down in January and February.
"While we certainly have some areas of risk," Lewandowski says, "we also have some areas of strength that hopefully will buffer us" during this.
Young asking about consumer confidence: What constitutes those indices?
Wobbekind: Qs are asked about, how do you feel about your job, your income? Now and in the future.

"They're extremely pessimistic about the current situation but they're feeling a bit better about the future situation."
Wobbekind: And they ask if ppl are going to go out and buy things again, particularly big-ticket items that they don't HAVE to buy if they don't need to. "We want to know if they're going to get back in the game."
"What makes it interesting this time .... you have economic (confidence) but also the psychological confidence. Are people going to be willing to go back into stores?"
"We've never faced that before," Wobbekind says.
"We don't know what it's going to take, particularly for older folks. That's a critical piece to Boulder, bc we do have a lot of older, wealthier folks."
Young: Who are they asking? A broad spectrum of folks?
Wobbekind: It's a statistical sample. It's not huge but it's done very consistently and multiple times per month.
"In normal times ... it's good supplemental info," Wobbekind says. We're relying more on it now bc we don't have other data.
Wobbekind: "The people impacted by this are by far the most vulnerable ppl in our economy. By far. ... this is what makes this particularly ... painful, in my view. The ppl who are losing their jobs are the ppl who can't afford to lose their jobs."
"This is a tough one to watch from the outside."
Wallach: "You seem to have a very optimistic sense of the recovery by the end of the year, cutting the unemployment rate in half." Does that account for a resurgence of COVID? And/or the "possible long-term structural impacts" on businesses that can't fully reopen?
Wobbekind: We do have a W in the recovery, so we see it going up and going down a little bit. Is 8% unemployment too low for the end of the year? Maybe. Maybe it's 9%.

"We don't see recovery until we see a vaccine."
"I think for a certain group of consumers... a number of (whom) live in Boulder, you're going to be talking a longer path to recovery, of them participating in the economy."
"We don't see it as a 5-year recovery" as in 2008, 2009. "We see this as a short-term recovery once we figure out the pandemic," Wobbekind says.
"At the end of the day, we think that the powers that be at all levels are trying to balance the economic system with the health care system."
"We think with more testing in place and these other things, the likelihood of more massive shutdowns later in the year aren't going to happen."
Lewandowski: "We do expect this fall there will be some stars and stops within the economy. So much of this is educated guesswork ... right now."
"Some of our more pessimistic scenarios (show) a multi-year recession," Lewandowski says. "We are optimistic that we start adding jobs back next year, but we think it's 36 mos. or so b4 we recover jobs lost."
That's 3 yrs before we're back to where we were, Lewandowski says. That's pessimistic, but still "a faster recovery then the Great Recession and 2000-2001 recession" in Colorado.
Yates: Boulder's tourism entity has furloughed or laid off most staff and reduced or eliminated planned spending on anything that encourages visitors and tourism to Boulder.
That will leave $$ in reserve to rehire staff and start things back up, Yates says, "to push hard and repair the damage we're seeing now."
Wobbekind: "If we don't have crowds at football games, parents coming here, if we don't have a residential campus in the fall.... that impacts Boulder."

It's not "all about CU" but it does have an impact.
"That was illuminating and depressing," Weaver says.

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