Friday, April 19, 2013

Piute County Economic Update

When is year-to-year job loss of 0.4 percent a good thing? When the last time your area has experienced an employment gain was in December 2008. Piute County has struggled with significant job losses for much of the past four and a half years. However, the recently-released December 2012 year-to-year nonfarm job loss of 0.4 percent—while relatively small—provides no clear signal that the county’s economy is improving. After all, the county has gotten close to crossing the line to employment expansion only to slip back into the contraction mode.

Other economic indicators represent a mixed bag of performances. Here’s some details:

  • Between December 2011 and December 2012, Piute County lost just one nonfarm job. In addition little change was apparent in any of the area’s industries. 
  • The loss of three jobs in trade/transportation/utilities and a two-job gain in construction marked the largest movements of note. 
  • The county’s unemployment rate does continue to trend downward—primarily because so many Piute County workers have found employment outside of the county’s boundaries. In February 2013, its jobless rate registered 5.6 percent—not all that much higher than the statewide rate of 5.2 percent. Since February of last year, the county’s jobless rate has dropped by 0.6 percentage points. 
  • So far in 2013, Piute County’s first-time claims for unemployment insurance have continued in a seasonal rather than cyclical pattern. 
  • Fourth quarter 2012 gross taxable sales for Piute County rose 10 percent compared to the same quarter in 2011. However, the previous two quarters showed declining sales.