Monday, April 28, 2014

Piute County Economic Update

Unfortunately, Piute County’s employment gains earlier in the year proved a one-quarter wonder. Year-end found the county once again shedding employment at a distressing rate. Piute County’s nonfarm employment peaked in 2008 and, with the exception of third quarter 2013, has contracted ever since.

 Between December 2012 and December 2013, Piute County lost about 20 nonfarm positions for a decline of 7 percent. Not one single major industry added jobs. The largest losses occurred in trade/transportation/utilities and government.

Despite the county’s dismal employment performance, its unemployment rated continued to edge down. In March 2013, Piute County’s unemployment rate registered 4.7 percent, a drop from 5.0 percent in March 2012. This seeming dichotomy occurred for two reasons. First, Piute County’s population has contracted as individuals have left the area. Second, many Piute County residents commute across county lines for work.

Gross taxable sales failed to provide any bright economic news for the county. Between the fourth quarters of 2012 and 2013, Piute County sales dropped 7 percent.