Resort wages high, but still can’t keep up

Brief by Allen Best

Mountain Economy – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

Teachers in Jackson Hole, Wyo., this year got a whopping increase in salaries. Starting salaries are now at $50,000, nearly double what they were. Average increases were 32 percent.

The intent was to give teachers enough money to allow them to buy single-family homes, reducing the turnover in the school district.

In fact, teachers are now paid so well that some no longer can qualify for government-subsidized housing, but still earn too little to be able to afford the free-market housing.

Something similar is found at the hospital, St. John’s Medical Center, where 161 staff members make between $60,000 and $120,000.

These statistics mirror a widening gap. Wages increased 22 percent during the last seven years, but average home-sale prices went up 79 percent.