Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Sevier County Economic Update

While Sevier County seems to have shaken off the job losses of 2013, recently-released nonfarm jobs numbers show a rather tepid third-quarter 2014 performance. The county did average a year-over gain of more the 130 jobs for the quarter, although September showed the weakest increase. Moreover, pockets of industry-level job loss remain. The current level of employment creation still managed to shrink the county’s jobless level to a level not seen since before the recession. Only a decline in gross taxable sales pitches a slight shadow on this recovering economy.

  • Between September 2013 and September 2014, Sevier County’s nonfarm employment increased by roughly 1 percent.
  • Over the past year, leisure/hospitality services, private education/health/social services, retail trade and professional/business services combined to create most of the new employment. |
  • Unfortunately, construction, transportation/warehousing and government took significant employment hits over the past 12 months.
  • As in most Utah counties, Sevier County’s unemployment slipped down a level at year end. In December 2014, the unemployment rate estimate measured just 3.9 percent, falling in the full employment range.
  • During the first few months of the year, first-time claims for unemployment insurance are running roughly in-line with last year’s seasonal pattern.
  • Gross taxable sales took a 3.4 percent tumble between the third quarters of 2013 and 2014. However, a decline in the business investment category appears primarily responsible for the drop.
  •  Retail trade itself generated a healthy increase.
  • On the other hand, sales of new cars and trucks slipped slightly in third quarter 2014.