Monday, November 23, 2015

Utah's Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for all Utah counties have been posted online here.

Each month, these rates are posted the Monday following the Unemployment Rate Update for Utah.

For more information about seasonally adjusted rates, read a DWS analysis here.

Next update scheduled for Dec 21st.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Utah's Employment Situation for October 2015

Utah's Employment Situation for October 2015 has been released on the web.

Find the Current Economic Situation in its entirety here.

For charts and tables, including County Employment, go to the Employment and Unemployment page.

Next update scheduled for December 18, 2015.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Port proposal under review

A proposal to invest some $53 million in the form of a loan into the construction of a port in Oakland, Calif., came under fire last week by environmentalist groups in and out of the state of Utah. The proposed port project would allow four counties — Sevier, Sanpete, Carbon and Emery — the ability to ship goods internationally. The Utah Permanent Community Impact Fund Board approved the $53 million loan in April. The project would give the four counties a right to use 49 percent of the port’s capacity for trans-Pacific shipping. This could include shipping of salt, potash, agricultural goods and other products.

However, since one of the key factors in all four counties is the coal industry, the proposal has drawn the ire of environmental activists. A letter signed by representatives of the Center for Biological Diversity, Grand Canyon Trust, the Sierra Club and Earthjustice last week urged Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes to invalidate the proposed loan. Richfield Reaper

Manti celebrates opening of $1.1M ambulance facility

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held recently to celebrate completion of the $1.1 million Manti Ambulance Building, which came in under budget.

The building at 58 N. 100 East was built because the previous facility was the old firehouse, which was partially condemned, had inadequate facilities and not up to needed standards. The new building is also constructed to be a great training facility. Sanpete Messenger

Sevier County power project permit expires

A permit, issued by the Utah Division of Air Quality for a 580-megawatt natural gas-fueled power plan in Sevier County, expired October 25.

Sevier Power intends on applying for a new permit. If the company were to try and proceed with the old permit, it could wind up having to use an old technology. Sevier Power is continuing to pursue the project, as well as financing, so that when the market conditions shift, the plant can be built. Meanwhile, work is continuing on the effort to run a natural gas line capable of feeding the plant into Sevier County, according to company officials. The Richfield Reaper

Richfield low income housing development nearing occupancy day

Construction of a 49-unit residential development in Richfield is entering its final phases. The project, which is being constructed thanks to a partnership between Six County Community Housing Incorporated and Adams Construction Management Company Inc., represents an $8 million investment in the region.

The units are not subsidized housing. While many similar developments adjust rental rates based on the income of the family living in it, Eagle View’s rent is nonnegotiable. The rates at most of the Eagle View units will be below what is charged on the open market. However, there are three units that are open to anyone who wants to rent them at market value. Richfield Reaper

Reconstruction of Ephraim Maverik set to start in January

Ephraim City is “working out some logistics” to pave the way for construction of a new Maverik store on Main Street. The city is moving and burying some power lines that would be in the way of construction. The present store will stay open during most of the construction, but ultimately it will be closed and torn down. The new store will be significantly larger than the present store. Sanpete Messenger

Monday, November 2, 2015

In Search of an Agricultural Employment Count

What do we know about the agricultural workforce in Central Utah? 

By Lecia Parks Langston, Senior Economist

“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” 
Dwight D. Eisenhower
With all our talk of “nonfarm” jobs, you may think the Department of Workforce Services’ economists are agricultural employment bigots, always ignoring this important part of the economy. Au contraire. Trust me, we would love to share frequent agricultural employment updates if only they were available. This is particularly true since we understand the important role of agriculture in Central Utah. However, the laws that provide the administrative data we use to track nonfarm employment (through the state’s unemployment insurance system) cover only a small portion of the agricultural work occurring in Utah.

There are three primary sources of agricultural employment data; the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW, our usual “jobs” data), the American Community Survey (ACS) and the Census of Agriculture. As you can see from the data visualization, each yields a vastly different count of farming workers due to differences in coverage and methodology. The chart that follows this post outlines the differences. Here are some of the major variances:

• The Census of Agriculture is just that — a census. The ACS is a survey. The QCEW data is obtained from data collected as a byproduct of the administration of the unemployment insurance (UI) system, yet there are many small farming activities not subject to the UI laws.

• QCEW and the agricultural census count jobs as opposed to the ACS, which counts people in their primary industry. (One person can have several jobs.)

• QCEW omits self-employed and firms with few/intermittent employees. It is the least inclusive of the agricultural employment counts.

• The agricultural census seeks to include all those who work in agriculture, whether for a whole year or a day. It is the most inclusive of the agricultural employment counts.

Kenworth opens new doors in Salina

The new Kenworth location in Salina officially opened the doors to its new 25,000 square-foot dealership. The building includes 12 service bays, and represents a $4 million investment. The new location at 305 West Industrial Park Drive quadruples the size of the Salina dealership. The facility includes a large parking lot providing room for drivers to park and maneuver their trucks and trailers, or drop off after hours. The Richfield Reaper