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.