Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Piute County Economic Update

Has Piute County broken out of its four-year employment losing streak? Unfortunately, not yet. Piute County remains the only county in the area which hasn’t seen some year-to-year improvement since the end of the recession. True, job losses proved relatively small. However, there’s no joy to be found in a four-year-plus economic contraction.

Here’s a brief review of the county’s economic indicators:

  • In the twelve months ending March 2013, Piute County showed a net loss of three positions. This relatively small job loss resulted in a 1.3 percent decline in total nonfarm employment.
  • Trade/transportation/utilities accounted for most of the job loss.
  • Several industries—leisure/hospitality services, government and construction did add a few jobs. However, gains were insufficient to offset losses.
  • Although Piute County’s employment has steadily contracted over the past several years, its unemployment rate continues to edge downward. Many residents of the county commute to other counties for work—a fact that has undoubtedly mitigated joblessness in the area.
  • As of June 2013, the county’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate measured 5.3 percent—just somewhat higher than the state average of 4.7 percent.
  • First-time claims for unemployment insurance have stabilized into a seasonal rather than cyclical pattern. The highest number of new claims occurred from the seasonal leisure/hospitality industry and the project-driven construction industry.
  • Between the first quarters of 2012 and 2013, gross taxable sales slipped by 2 percent—another indication that the county has not yet achieved a stable economy.