Thursday, October 31, 2013

Millard County Economic Update

While Millard County has recovered from the vacillation in total jobs as a large construction project came and went, it still hasn’t found itself on a sound job-creation footing. Nevertheless, its current rate of employment expansion, while not terribly exciting, is still employment expansion. Many counties in the region cannot say the same. Moreover, other economic indicators show rock-solid expansion. Both sales and construction permitting experienced strong recent improvement. This should portend better labor market news in the months ahead. For more details and graphic visualizations, click "read more."

  • Between June 2012 and June 2013, Millard County’s nonfarm jobs increased by 2 percent—a gain of more than 80 jobs. Year-to-year expansion rates have bounced between 1 and 3 percent for most of the past year.
  • Two industries proved the primary drag on the overall job picture. Wholesale trade and the public sector (mostly local government) lost roughly 30 jobs each.
  • On the plus side, professional/business services created the largest number of net new positions (more than 70). Additionally, mining, manufacturing, private education/health/social services, leisure/hospitality services and other services each added at least 10 new jobs each.
  • The county’s unemployment rate provides even better news for the labor market. As of August 2013, Millard County jobless rate registered 4.1 percent; lower than the statewide average of 4.7 percent. Such a comparatively low unemployment rate is unusual among the more rural counties of Utah.
  • Millard County did experience a sharp spike in first-time claims for unemployment insurance recently—primarily at the hands of the temporary government shutdown. Claims should return to their normal seasonal levels in the weeks ahead.
  • Home-building seems to be resurging in Millard County. For the first four months of the year, dwelling unit permits are up 40 percent. However, the actual number of permits remains small and nonresidential permitting dropped during the same time period.
  • Gross taxable sales gains continued their four-quarter winning streak with a hefty 17-percent year-to-year increase.
  • New light car and truck sales also displayed a vigorous 23-percent year-over increase for second quarter 2013.