Region’s total workforce surges as weather warms |

Region’s total workforce surges as weather warms

Daily Staff Report

EDWARDS – Two are things are true in Eagle County: There are more of us and more of us are working.Eagle County’s workforce continues to grow jumped again in March as businesses began to gear up for the spring and summer seasons.At the end of March, 31,457 people were working in Eagle County, up from 31,136 at the end of February, according to statistics from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.That’s miles ahead of other area counties.The Roaring Fork Valley’s sizzling real estate market and frenetic pace of construction fueled growth in Pitkin County’s work force last year, the first increase in three years, according to Colorado’s Department of Labor.Businesses of all types employed 15,918 people in Pitkin County during the third quarter of 2001. When the economy tanked after Sept. 11, 2001, the size of the work force fell, and it remained flat in 2002 through 2004.Last year, Pitkin County’s number of workers hit 16,385 during the third quarter, thanks in large part to the real estate industry.Real estate companies reported average employment of 1,008 throughout the third quarter of 2001. By the third quarter of last year, employment surged to 1,246.In Garfield County, the construction industry paved the way for a dramatic turnaround in the size of the work force. At the time of Sept. 11, construction firms in Garfield County employed 3,804 people. By the third quarter of the following year, the number fell 12.5 percent to 3,325.The construction industry took further lumps in 2003 and 2004. By the third quarter of 2004 the industry employed 3,157 people.That changed abruptly and dramatically in 2005. The work force in construction skyrocketed to 3,688, an increase of 17 percent in one year.As a result, the total number of people on the payroll of Garfield County businesses increased dramatically during the four-year period. In the third quarter of 2001, Garfield County businesses employed 20,729. That jumped to 23,631 last year, an increase of 14 percent.Benefit golf tournament a worldwide affairThe Christie Lodge in Avon, the Vail Valley Charitable Fund and Grand Timber Lodge in Breckenridge are hosting the annual Christel House Open golf tournament at the Cotton Ranch Club in Gypsum.The Christel House Open is one of more than two dozen charity golf tournaments being played around the world on the same day, spanning six continents, across 20 time zones . This year the tournament will benefit the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, as well as global charities.The event opens 7-11 p.m. Sunday, June 11 with Casino Night at The Christie Lodge. Registration for the golf tournament follows at 10:30 a.m. the next day at the Cotton Ranch Club, Gypsum, and ends with an awards reception and dinner.Various sponsorship levels are available and organizers are seeking silent auction donations. Contact the Vail Valley Charitable Fund at, Colorado

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