Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Sanpete County Economic Update

Recently-released employment data shows that Sanpete County has dug itself out of the job-loss pit of late 2013 to early 2014. While the monthly figures were not consistently strong, they do offer a welcome improvement from prior quarters. Moreover, most industries contributed to the job creation. Concurrently, the county’s jobless rate continued on the downward track reaching the level generally considered “full employment.” Sales followed the same basic pattern as job growth with a healthy third-quarter gain—just one more indicator of an improving economy.

  • Sanpete County’s nonfarm employment improved by almost 4 percent between the third quarters of 2013 and 2014.
  • Year-to-year figures for the final month of the quarter measured the lowest of the time period. 
  • Nevertheless, Sanpete County’s employment based increased by 2 percent and more than 150 positions in September 2014.
  • The county’s strongest job gains occurred in manufacturing, professional/business services and leisure/hospitality services.
  • Few industries lost jobs with mining and construction displaying the only decreases of note.
  • In December 2014, Sanpete County’s jobless rate slipped to 4.1 percent, notably lower than the national average of 5.6 percent.
  • Given the seasonal nature of a noteworthy portion of the county’s employment, this low level of joblessness appears even more impressive.
  • During the first few weeks of 2015, first-time claims for unemployment insurance appeared to track the seasonal pattern of recent years. This suggests the unemployment rate will continue to trend downward.
  • After a slow start to the year, gross taxable sales made a fine comeback with a year-to-year increase of almost 8 percent for the third quarter of 2014.
  • On the other hand, sales of new cars and trucks slipped slightly in the same quarter.