03 June 2016

Coal Industry Employment Virtually Irrelevant In Colorado

There are seven operating coal mines in Colorado.  The largest, which produces more than half of the coal produced in the state, employs about 300 people, but its bankrupt owner is laying off 80 of them due to a collapse in the coal market that has been a long time coming as utilities have shifted to cleaner fuels as a result of a long standing inherent defect in the product mined.

By comparison, bankrupt sporting equipment retailer Sports Authority is laying off more people at its Englewood, Colorado headquarters alone, than the coal industry employed in the entire State of Colorado before the latest round of layoffs.

Colorado's civilian labor force as of April 2016 was 2,888,800.

Admittedly, coal mining jobs are good paying jobs, particularly for workers who typically lack a college education.  But, there aren't a whole lot of them and rest of the profits generated from the mines net of their labors and state taxes mostly go to multi-national publicly held companies (or bankruptcy trustees for multi-national bond creditors), rather than supporting the Colorado economy.

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