Monday, May 22, 2017

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 June 19th.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Utah's Employment Situation for April 2017

Utah's Employment Situation for April 2017 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 June 16th, 2017.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Centerfield mapping out $1.5M road project, $200,000 will allow chip-sealing

Centerfield City is getting ready for an almost $1.5-million roads project to get underway soon. The city has qualified for $1.47 million in a loan-grant combination for needed work. At a meeting of the city council Savage Surveying presented the company’s projections for where and what kind of maintenance should be done. Through its planning, the company had saved about $200,000, which could be used to double chip-seal all the east-west roads in the town, in addition to the north-south roads. The council approved Savage’s plans. Sanpete Messenger

Project on state trust lands not subject to local zoning

A state judge has invalidated a conditional-use permit Wayne County officials issued for a gravel pit on state trust lands on the edge of Teasdale, raising new questions on how much say local governments have over projects authorized by the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration.

The county last year approved a gravel pit on part of a 120-acre SITLA parcel just upwind from Torrey, the artsy gateway to Capitol Reef National Park, in an area zoned for agriculture and low-density residential. The move outraged some residents, who took the dispute to court.

Judge George Harmond ruled that state-owned land is exempt from county zoning rules, so Wayne County properly declined to "rezone" the parcel in question. At the same time, Harmond said in his ruling the conditional-use permit issued to Brown Brothers Construction to operate the pit is not valid — since such permits are premised on a zoning designation. Salt Lake Tribune

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Census Bureau Tool Provides Labor-Force Insight for Utah

By Mark Knold and Lecia Langston

Across the United States, jobs are quantified through each state’s unemployment insurance program. Those programs provide the potential for laid-off workers to receive unemployment benefits — the goal being to bridge the gap between workers’ lost jobs and their next jobs. An eligible recipient’s weekly benefit amount is based upon their earnings from recent work. This begs the question, how does Utah’s unemployment insurance program know how much an individual recently earned while working?

That answer is supplied by all businesses that hire workers, as they must report their employees and pay as mandated by the unemployment insurance laws. Companies identify their individual workers and those workers’ monetary earnings for a calendar quarter. As businesses are identified by their industrial activity and geographic location, it is through the unemployment insurance program that aggregate employment counts by industry and location are calculated.

Yet each state’s profiling of individuals is quite minimal in the unemployment insurance program. The U.S. Census Bureau can bring more light to the overall labor force by supplementing said information with gender, age, race/ethnicity and educational attainment (imputted from American Community Survey responses) for Utah’s labor force.

The Census Bureau packages this information through their Local Employment Dynamics program and makes available said data on its website. Here at the Department of Workforce Services, we recently downloaded and packaged Utah-specific data from said website and summarized it in the attached visualization.

Various data “tabs” are available, presenting Utah’s economy from different angles, ranging from industry shares within the economy to the age-group distributions of the labor force, to gender and race distributions. These labor variables can be viewed for the state as a whole, or by each individual county.

Health Insurance: Who’s covered in Utah?

Census Bureau Estimates Provide Answers about Utah Health Insurance Coverage

By Lecia Parks Langston, Senior Economist

“Most Americans want health insurance.” Jacob Lew

The U.S. Census Bureau just published its Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE) for counties and states while the national discussion on health care laws receives renewed attention. Is this a coincidence? Yes, but a timely one. This post examines how health insurance coverage for Utahns has changed and also the demographics of who has coverage and who does not.

Tracking Utahns Under 65 Years of Age

Small Area Health Insurance Estimates cover the population under 65 years of age. Of course, virtually all residents 65 and older are covered by government-provided Medicare. Because the estimates date back to 2008, two years before the signing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the available figures provide an indication of the effect of the ACA on health insurance coverage in Utah and its counties.
More Utahns have Health Insurance

Between 2008 and 2015, the number of Utahns under 65 years old covered by health insurance increased by 284,000. Not only did the actual covered increase, but the share of non-senior population with health insurance also gained ground expanding from less than 84 percent to more than 88 percent — an increase of 4.7 percentage points.

Only Millard County experienced a very slight 0.3 percentage point decline in health insurance coverage although the actual number of persons covered increased by 113. Daggett, Rich, Kane and Grand counties showed the highest growth in under-65 coverage; each showed increases of at least 9 percentage points.

In 2015, counties in northern Utah generally showed the highest level of non-senior health insurance coverage. In Morgan, Davis, Box Elder, Tooele and Cache counties, health insurance rates top 90 percent. On the other end of the scale, rural counties in central and southern Utah display the lowest coverage. In San Juan, Millard, Duchesne and Wayne counties, health insurance rates for those under 65 measured 83 percent or less.

Those under 19 saw the greatest gains. Coverage rates for these young people increased from 87 percent in 2008 to 93 percent in 2015. Utah males experienced a larger gain in coverage between 2008 and 2015 (5 percentage points) than did females (4 percentage points), although females were more likely than men to carry health insurance in both years. Health insurance rates for those with the lowest incomes showed the most improvement (10.4 percentage points). However, their coverage shares remain roughly 10 points below average.

Wait, There’s More…

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Ephraim will get $55k from watershed protection program

The City of Ephraim will receive $55,000 from a national program aimed at repairing damage done by natural disasters, and protecting against future ones. The money is part of $5 million the National Resource Conservation Service (a division under the U.S. Department of Agriculture) is investing in Utah through its Emergency Watershed Protection Program, which aids communities in recovering from or preventing disasters. Ephraim City’s portion of the grant is slated for work to repair and prevent erosion of a debris basin above the city. Sanpete Messenger

ACT Aerospace expansion could bring 100 manufacturing jobs to Sanpete County

The owners of ACT Aerospace have made a proposal to the Gunnison City Council to buy 19 acres of city-owned property for a new production facility, which they said would create 100 jobs. The council voted unanimously to move forward with negotiating details of the land sale.

ACT has a potential partner company which has been contracting with aerospace parts producers overseas and wants to bring some of the contracts back to the United States. ACT currently manufactures parts for Bell Helicopter and Honda Aircraft. The expansion would enable the company to do the same kind of work on a larger scale. Sanpete Messenger

Rocky Mountain Power funding Sanpete Solar Project

Rocky Mountain Power has awarded Blue Sky funding for three renewable projects, including a contribution to a large solar array and battery storage system at North Sanpete Middle School in Moroni. The Sanpete Middle School will receive $576,224 to build a 206 kilowatt solar array, as well as a 32 kilowatt-hour battery storage system and electric vehicle charging station. The battery system will be charged using excess solar power during the day and help meet the school’s energy needs when the sun isn’t shining. Deseret News