Colorado Residents Among Happiest, Healthiest in U.S.

Most of us in Colorado feel happy about our life.  Our degree of happiness and healthiness is measured annually when Gallup conducts its wellbeing survey. In the recently released 2018 results, Colorado ranked No. 6 on the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index, marking the 11th year in a row in the top 10 across the U.S.

Colorado and Hawaii are the only two states with an eleven year record in the top 10. Hawaii ranked No. 1 and Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Utah followed as the top five.

Colorado’s long held position as top state for physical wellbeing was nudged out in 2018 by Alaska and Wyoming. Hawaii topped all states in three elements in 2018, leading the U.S. in career, social, and financial wellbeing. Alaska and North Dakota were top states for financial wellbeing, following Hawaii.

Gallup reports that its ranking is based on more than 115,000 surveys of adults across the U.S. that measures five essential elements of wellbeing:

Career: liking what you do and feeling motivated to achieve goals

Social: having supportive relationships and love in your life

Financial: managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security

Community: liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in your community

Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily

High levels of wellbeing improve workplace performance and employee engagement that can benefit local employers, writes Gallup.

Here are the top 10 happiest and healthiest states and their scores out of 100 on Gallup’s National Health and Well-Being Index.

1. Hawaii                           64.6

2. Wyoming                      64.2

3. Alaska                          63.9

4. Montana                       63.5

5. Utah                              63.4

6. Colorado                      63.4

7. Vermont                        63.3

8. Delaware                      62.9

9. South Dakota               62.7

10. North Dakota             62.7

Across the nation overall wellbeing declined in 2018, with the national Well-Being Index score dropping to 61.2 from 61.5 in 2017. The Index also declined in 2017, bringing the two-year decrease to 0.9 points. Social and career wellbeing slid, while physical wellbeing improved and financial and community wellbeing held steady.

For the full Gallup Wellbeing Index, visit https://news.gallup.com/poll/247034/hawaii-tops-wellbeing-record-7th-time.aspx

 

Originally posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Wednesday, March 27th, 2019.

Posted on March 20, 2019 at 3:00 pm
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Where will Boulder’s workforce of the future live?

The Boulder Economic Summit was held on May 22 and the focus was on the workforce of the future. The Boulder Economic Council rightly identified this as a key to Boulder County’s continued vitality and prosperity.  There were vibrant discussions about the growing importance of skills to both employers and employees, shifting employment patterns, how businesses can embrace Millennials, and more.

From a real estate perspective, the most thought provoking session was the roundtable discussion on “Addressing Housing and Transportation,” in which participants were asked to discuss what their businesses are experiencing in terms of housing and mobility needs, what they are doing to address them, and what possible solutions they see.  From this discussion, it became evident that the majority of many businesses’ employees live outside the city, that many of those employees would like to live in Boulder, and that there are myriad housing and transportation challenges facing businesses and employees.

Many of the proposed solutions will sound familiar: some additional housing, including ADUs (“granny flats”) throughout the city and multi-family housing in the light industrial areas along the east Arapahoe corridor; adding additional lanes to some of the major arteries to/from Boulder, especially along Arapahoe/Highway 7 and the Diagonal; more and “better placed” park-n-ride lots; more parking spaces throughout the city; more and better alternative transportation options, and possibly some shared shuttle services among Boulder businesses. 

Many participants expressed the opinion that they believe some of these solutions are viable, but they acknowledged that most of them would require the willingness and coordination of city and county governments.  The scope of these issues is supported by the estimated 50,000 — 60,000 people who commute into Boulder for work each day, half of whom purportedly want to live in the city, and the fact that currently there are no single family homes in Boulder on the market for less than $575,000 (and that only gets you 966 square feet).

The bottom line takeaway from this discussion was that if Boulder cannot find better ways to address its housing and transportation issues, it risks losing its economic vigor as more and more businesses will choose to relocate to more hospitable areas.  More than one employer at the roundtable lamented that if they cannot solve some of these issues, they will likely have to move their business elsewhere. 

Let’s face it, Boulder does not make it easy on businesses or their employees. Among other things, businesses in Boulder have to contend with sky-high affordable housing linkage fees on commercial development (which will ultimately be borne by tenants and consumers), complex and changing zoning and use regulations, rapidly growing commercial property taxes, and a dearth of parking spaces.  Employees face a severe lack of affordable housing to purchase, expensive rent or long — and increasingly frustrating — commutes, and difficulty finding parking (and not enough public and alternative transportation options).

There is always room for hope in Boulder, one of the brainiest (and best) cities in America, and an excellent example is the city council’s recent openness to allowing additional ADUs.  It’s not a panacea, but it’s a start.

Envisioning our workforce of the future is a great and useful undertaking, but if Boulder cannot (or will not) address its mounting housing and transportation issues, the workforce of the future will be happily employed… elsewhere.

 

Jay Kalinski is broker/owner of Re/Max of Boulder.

Originally posted by BizWest on Wednesday, June 1st, 2018. Original found here.

Posted on June 2, 2018 at 9:05 am
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