Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Piute County Economic Update

Around mid-2013, Piute County seemed to have finally escaped the nonfarm employment freefall that had been its lot since the recession. However, the county has now returned to job loss. Between March 2013 and March 2014, Piute County lost 17 positions for a decline of 7 percent.

The current decline can be traced to the public sector. Local government (which includes public education) accounted for almost all the job loss. On the flip side, no major industry generated any significant employment gains.

And, the county’s jobless rate continues to slip. At 4.3 percent, the county’s July 2014 jobless rate measures a full percentage point lower than it did in July 2013. Fortunately, out-migration coupled with a large out-commuting workforce have allowed Piute County’s unemployment rate to decline in the midst of job loss.

Gross taxable sales provide the one glossy piece of economic news in a rather dull tale. Between the first quarters of 2013 and 2014, Piute County gross taxable sales increased by a whopping 46 percent. Unfortunately, a huge portion of this gain can be attributed to a prior-quarter adjustment.