Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Millard County Economic Update

For the most part, Millard County’s economy started 2014 in the moderate zone preferred by most economists. The labor market showed healthy improvement, construction activity picked up and sales grew slightly.

Moderate job growth is a good thing. The county’s job growth ended the first quarter of 2014 with moderate 3-percent year-to-year job growth. With 100 net new jobs, Millard County’s economy expanded nicely over the past 12 months. Strongest employment gains occurred in the information, transportation, manufacturing and health/care social services industries along with the public sector. In other words, growth proved relatively broad-based, which is a positive sign for future growth. The only significant industry-level job loss occurred in retail trade.

Strong employment expansion continued to erode the county’s unemployment rate. With a July 2014 jobless rate of 3.2 percent, Millard County sports one of the lowest unemployment shares in the state.

Sales and construction permitting evidenced a split economic personality. A robust 36-percent gain in 2013 construction permit values was softened by a negligible increase in year-to-year first quarter gross taxable sales.