Staffing shortages are leading to bigger economic impacts around Colorado. On Monday, Denver Public Schools warned parents it was getting wrapped up in a milk distribution issue that stretches far beyond the school district.
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“The economy has come back as a shock, just like it has gone down as a shock,” said Dr. Kishore Kulkarni, a professor of economics at Metro State University of Denver. “That creates pressure on wages, that creates pressure on who gets the labor.”

Outside of a dairy in Englewood, it’s like many other businesses around the Front Range, covered in “Now Hiring” signs. A job posting on the Dairy Farmers of America website says a driver is needed specifically for school routes.

“All companies are looking for workers to work at that wage and do these jobs which cannot be done from home and therefore they have to be at the site and labor is reluctant to do this. These are the workers who are not really in great supply right now. And there is a huge demand for them and that’s why the wages are going up,” Dr. Kulkarni said.

As pressure is put on companies to increase wages, most are passing along the increased cost to the customers.

“Increasing wages also increases the cost of production, and as the cost of production goes up employers will start looking to raise the prices wherever they can,” said Kulkarni.

Regional small, organic dairy farm industry had been rocked by Horizon Organic nonrenewal.

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