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No Mystery As To Why People Are Leaving ABQ For Denver

No Mystery As To Why People Are Leaving ABQ For Denver

In short, Denver is a first-class booming city, and not the third-tier, economic backwater that Albuquerque is.

The Albuquerque Journal is is attempting to solve what apparently is a mystery to the people there: why are Albuquerque’s young people moving to Denver?

We have a one-word answer to that question:

Jobs.

Gobs of jobs and jobs that pay a lot more than here.

To the list of reasons why people are leaving Albuquerque for Denver we’ll add economic opportunity and lots of things to do.

In short, Denver is a first-class booming city, and not the third-tier, economic backwater that Albuquerque is.

In the past decade Denver has spent billions on a massive new airport and a light rail system that actually gets people around town in decent time. The place is filled with private companies and corporate headquarters, and that means opportunity. You lose one job, or get tired of it, you can find another really fast.

In Denver, you have enormous job opportunities.

In Albuquerque, the job prospects amount to getting on with the city or the county, or working for the lab. Or restaurant and hotel jobs that pay lousy.

The Denver metro area’s economy dwarfs Albuquerque’s.

As of May, the area had 1.5 million non-farm payroll jobs. And in the past year it had a job growth rate of 2.5 percent.

The Albuquerque metro area has 389,700 jobs. And its job-growth rate for the past year was 0.1 percent.

And when it comes to population, Denver is growing while Albuquerque is stagnating.

Since 2010, the Denver area’s population has grown by 10.5 percent and is now at 2.8 million people. The Albuquerque area’s population has increased by a mere 2.3 percent since 2010 and is now at 909,906 people.

And pretty much anyone can make more money in Denver than they can here.

The average weekly wage for all jobs in Albuquerque is $895, which is 84 percent of the national average of $1,067.

In the Denver area, the average weekly wage is $1,287.

And then there’s the general feel of the place. Walk in Downtown Denver and you feel the energy of thousands of people on the streets and an area that’s booming.

Walk in Downtown Albuquerque and there’s a good chance you’ll get robbed.

The bottom line is that Denver is booming and Albuquerque is sickly.

The Journal apparently sent reporters barreling up I-25 to get the scoop on why young people are leaving Albuquerque. We could have saved them the gas money.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

Latest posts by Dennis Domrzalski (see all)

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  • Sarah
    July 14, 2017, 9:55 am

    I believe that legal cannabis has a lot to do with Denver’s growth as well. The cannabis and hemp industry has created thousands of jobs and many people who would not qualify for jobs in other sectors because they would be subject to testing for their cannabis use, medical or recreational, can now get jobs in this new market. In Albuquerque, jobs have been created in our Medical Cannabis market, but there is no growth promised as long as the DOH has their foot on the neck of the medical cannabis program, and no forecast for growth can be seen unless the state adopts an adult cannabis use and hemp law. We have to be brave and smart and not be the last state in the southwest to accept the future and legalize cannabis use.

    REPLY
  • Sarah
    July 14, 2017, 10:00 am

    I believe that legal cannabis has a lot to do with Denver’s growth as well. The cannabis and hemp industry has created thousands of jobs and many people who would not qualify for jobs in other sectors because they would be subject to testing for their cannabis use, medical or recreational, can now get jobs in this new market. In Albuquerque, jobs have been created in our Medical Cannabis market, but there is no growth promised as long as the DOH has their foot on the neck of the medical cannabis program, and no forecast for growth can be seen unless the state adopts an adult cannabis use and hemp law. We have to be brave and smart and not be the last state in the southwest to accept the future and legalize cannabis use.

    REPLY
  • Bridgette
    July 19, 2017, 1:50 pm

    I agree with Sarah. Albuquerque and the entire state of New Mexico could learn a lot from what’s been happening in Denver. I visited Denver in the Fall of 2015 and spoke to locals about the big boom of people moving there from out of state, many for the legality of cannabis. While some were upset and felt that outsiders were "encroaching on their space", others admitted that it has brought new jobs, especially in construction and tourism, and diversified the city.

    REPLY
  • Randall
    September 5, 2017, 11:44 pm

    Guess what? The price to live in Denver and surrounding area’s has skyrocketed. For some dumpy 3 or 4 bdrm home built 50 years ago they want over $300,000. So is moving to Denver justified when the extra money you make goes right to housing? Might as well stay in N.M.

    REPLY
The following two tabs change content below.
Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

Latest posts by Dennis Domrzalski (see all)