El Paso County's economy fared a bit better than the nation's as a whole during the second quarter, according to a report by StratoDem Analytics, a Massachusetts-based data science firm.
The county's economic output in the April-to-June quarter fell 28% on an annual basis, compared with a 32.9% drop in nationwide economic output, data compiled by StratoDem showed. That ranks in the top third of the nation's more than 3,100 counties, said James Chung, a StratoDem partner.
Economic activity in the county declined less because of the economic contribution from five military bases that generate about 40% of the county's economic output, Chung said. Output also declined by smaller amounts in other counties with a big military presence, including those in Florida and Virginia, while output in counties that depend on tourism, including Eagle and Pitkin counties in Colorado, fell even more than the rest of the nation, he said.
"Markets that did best are those with a strong government presence, and in El Paso County that is because of military bases, that softened the blow from the pandemic. It was still a deep recession for El Paso County, but not as bad as many other places," Chung said. "I expect El Paso County will be one of the strongest recovering markets because of the technology base the military has built there and the expertise attracted to the area as a result."