Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wayne County Economic Update

Wayne County continued to pull itself out of the employment pit left by the closure of its largest employer. Strong employment gains, contracting joblessness, improving construction and sales all point to an economy that has begun to heal.

With the best performance in Utah, Wayne County’s nonfarm employment skyrocketed by almost 12 percent. Many of the 83 net new jobs could be traced to mining, construction, wholesale trade and healthcare/social services. Partially countering these employment gains, the public sector took a notable job hit.

Yes, Wayne County followed the rest of its central Utah peers in displaying an ever-shrinking unemployment rate. Although the county’s jobless rate remained high at 9.7 percent during July 2014, it has dropped more than two full percentage points since July 2013.

Construction and gross taxable sales joined the economic good news party. New residential permits and total permit values showed strong gains in 2013. Gross taxable sales generated its fifth straight robust gain. Between the first quarters of 2013 and 2014, Wayne County sales generated a robust 7-percent increase.