Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sevier County Economic Update

Sevier County lingered in positive job-creation territory again during the second quarter of 2014. That’s an improvement over the job losses of 2013. Currently, employment expansion remains relatively lackluster—less than 2 percent. However, a noteworthy decline in transportation/warehousing put a drag on the county’s overall labor market performance. Other economic indicators support the premise of a gradually improving Sevier County economy.

• Employment growth in June 2014 measured 1.6 percent on a year-to-year basis, representing a gain of nearly 130 jobs.

• A 114-job loss in transportation/warehousing stymied overall expansion.

• The leisure/hospitality industry generated the largest number of new jobs followed by mining, retail trade and professional/business services.

• Sevier County’s unemployment rate slipped to 3.9 percent in August 2013.

• The jobless rate has declined by more than a full percentage point over the past 12 months and registers only slightly higher than the statewide figure of 3.6 percent.

• The area’s year-to-year change in second quarter 2014 gross taxable sales measured a tepid 1.7 percent.

• Sales growth was tempered by a decline in the very variable business expenditure category. In particular, manufacturing figures dropped dramatically in comparison with second quarter 2014.

• Strong sales in general merchandise stores, rental/leasing establishments, and building materials stores more than offset the business-expenditure declines.

• As in most counties, Sevier County’s low level of initial claims for unemployment insurance primarily connected to temporary and seasonal industries.