Thursday, July 26, 2012

Brief Piute County Update

Piute County has yet to show signs of economic recovery. Since the beginning of 2009, Piute County has shown nothing but significant nonfarm job loss. Of course, many workers commute to other areas for employment and most agricultural employment is not included in our job counts. Otherwise, the indicators would paint an even bleaker economic picture. Here’s an outline of the county’s current economic picture.
  • Between March 2011 and March 2012, Piute County lost almost 30 jobs. While this loss might be a small number of positions in many counties, that decline represents a 10-percent contraction in Piute County’s payrolls.
  • Putting a drag on the overall employment situation, private education/health/social services (the largest decline), government, and the leisure/hospitality industries all lost employment.
  • Some job growth developed—just not enough to counteract the losses. Agriculture jobs covered by the unemployment insurance program actually generated the largest gains—although these figures are not included in the “nonfarm” totals. In addition, retail and wholesale trade made very small contributions to the labor market job pool.
  • Reflecting its high share of out-commuters, Piute County’s jobless rate has actually trended downward since 2009—concurrent with its job loss. Obviously, many workers have found employment outside the county. Currently, Piute County’s unemployment rate measures 6.2 percent—just higher than the state and far lower than the national average.
  • Gross taxable sales have certainly made a comeback. The 15-percent year-over increase in sales represents the seventh straight quarter of improving sales for Piute County.