Colorado small businesses are less likely to change health insurers for the upcoming year, even as they anticipate continued price increases, according to the second-annual Delta Dental of Colorado Small Business Survey.
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The study, commissioned by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association,
also found that the industry generated 51,200 direct jobs with average annual wages of more than $74,800.
The report comes as several communities, including Fort Collins and Loveland, eye moratoriums on new oil and gas development and several cities are moving to challenge the state over their ability to regulate development within city limits.
Brian Lewandowski, research associate at the Leeds School, said that oil and gas and mining overall comprise roughly 3.7 percent of the state’s gross domestic product, more than agriculture, which comes in at 2.3 percent of GDP, and well below health care, which comprises 6.2 percent of Colorado’s GDP.
“Oil and gas is an important part of the state’s economy,” Lewandowski said.
The study examined statewide data on employment, wages, property values, royalties and rig and well counts, among other things.
The oil boom has also generated benefits for state and local governments and school districts. Severance tax revenue in 2012 came in at $163 million, up from $63 million in 2010. And property taxes paid by the industry accounted for nearly 9 percent of all property taxes paid in Colorado, according to the study.