Thursday, October 31, 2013

Piute County Economic Update

Woohoo. . .It finally happened. Piute County showed its first year-to-year nonfarm employment gains since the recession began (since December 2008 to be exact). While many smaller counties have struggled to create new jobs, Piute County has lagged noticeably behind its neighbors in the labor market rate. Hopefully, the current robust rate of expansion marks a turning point for this area. Despite this strong employment growth, joblessness ticked up a notch. On the other hand, gross taxable sales made a healthy increase. In general, strong showings by nonfarm jobs and sales overshadow the slight change in unemployment. For more details and graphic visualizations, click "read more."

  • Between June 2012 and June 2013, Piute County generated almost 20 net, new nonfarm jobs. The change translates into a 7.3 percent year-to-year gain for this small county.
  • Most major industries either added employment or remained stable. Leisure/hospitality services and local government were the primary movers and shakers behind the current spate of new jobs.
  • Despite renewed employment growth, the county’s unemployment rate actually edged up in recent months. How can this happen? The method used to measure jobs and unemployment rates may hold a clue. Nonfarm jobs are counted by employer location. Unemployment rates are estimated based on worker residence. Since a high percentage of Piute County workers leave the area for employment, job growth rate patterns and unemployment rates may seem to contradict one another.
  • In August 2013, Piute County unemployment rate registered 5.8 percent—higher than the Utah average (4.7 percent) but below the U.S. figure (7.3 percent) First-time claims for unemployment insurance remained relatively stable in August.
  • After three straight quarters of declining gross taxable sales, Piute County pulled out a vigorous 9-percent year-over gain in second quarter 2013.