Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Brief Sanpete County Economic Update

Now that Sanpete County has finally dug its way out of recession, it is gaining employment at decidedly robust rate. Not only is the most reliable indicator of economic health—year-to-year change in nonfarm jobs—improving nicely, most other indicators tell the same tale. Here’s a blow by blow explanation of the county’s current economic indicators:
  • Between March 2011 and March 2012, Sanpete County’s nonfarm jobs grew by a vigorous 5 percent—notably higher than the rate for rapidly-growing Utah. Moreover, the net addition of 340 was spread among most sectors.
  • Sanpete County showed the best employment-creating performance in its region.
  • Industry gains proved fairly broad-based. Manufacturing, leisure/hospitality services, and private education/health/social services added the largest number of new positions. However, most industries joined the job-creation party to one extent or another.
  • Only three major industries registered employment contractions—information, wholesale trade, and financial activities.
  • As in most areas, unemployment continues to trend downward in Sanpete County. Currently, at 7.7 percent, its rate measures somewhat below the national average. Sanpete County’s jobless rate does register somewhat higher than the statewide average of 6.0 percent despite its strong job gains. Higher rates are due in part to a seasonal faction in the labor market.
  • Construction appeared as the lone negative indicator in Sanpete County’s current economic picture. Both new residential and nonresidential construction permit values are down dramatically for the first four months of the year. However, construction remains the most volatile of economic gauges and figures could improve once the numbers for the summer season are tabulated.
  • Gross taxable sales for the first quarter of 2012 increased by 10 percent compared to the previous year. With four quarters of improving sales under its belt, sales back up the healthy employment signs. In addition, new car and trucks sales exploded in the first quarter of 2012.