Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Piute County Economic Update

Since the end of the national recession in June 2009, Piute County has experienced only one quarter of expanding nonfarm employment. Data for third quarter 2014 (the most recent available) show Piute County persisting in its job-losing ways. Moreover, the nonagricultural job losses register in the double-digit range. While the county’s jobless rate has dropped dramatically since the recession’s end it has shown a slight uptick in recent months, mirrored by a slight increase in first-time claims for unemployment insurance. Gross taxable sales did exhibit slight improvement in third quarter but supplied further proof of a less than vibrant economy.

  • Piute County lost roughly 40 nonfarm jobs between September 2013 and September 2014. On a year-to-year basis employment dropped by more than 14 percent. 
  • For September 2014, Piute County produced the worst employment performance in Utah.
  • Piute County’s jobless rate remained relatively low at 4.5 percent in December 2014. Yet while most Utah counties have experienced contracting unemployment, Piute County’s rate has actually increased slightly in recent months. 
  • Many Piute County workers commute to employment elsewhere which accounts for the area’s relatively low unemployment rate in the face of continued contracting employment levels. 
  • First-time claims for unemployment insurance are trending higher in the first few weeks of 2015 than in the same time period in 2014. 
  • Between the third quarters of 2013 and 2014, Piute County’s gross taxable sales increased by a rather tepid 1.6 percent. 
  • A decline in food/beverage store sales and leisure/hospitality sector sales put a hindered overall sales gains.