Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Millard County Economic Update

Although like most rural counties, Millard County’s rate of job growth rarely follows a straight-line trajectory, the county has consistently added new jobs over the past two years. This impressive track record continued as 2014 came to a close. The county’s relatively moderate employment expansion has proved sufficient to drive down joblessness to a very low level. In addition, both sales and construction showed strong performances. Overall, the economy remains healthier than most of its rural neighbors.

  • Between December 2013 and December 2014, Millard County added more than 70 new nonfarm jobs for a growth rate of roughly 2 percent. 
  • Additionally, 20-plus jobs were added in covered agriculture (not included in the total). 
  • Growth appeared relatively broad-based with trade, information, private education/health services and leisure/hospitality services generating notable numbers of new positions. 
  • Construction, manufacturing and other services contracted somewhat. 
  • Millard County’s jobless rate remains low at 3.3 percent in March 2015. 
  • The county’s unemployment rate measures below the state rate, an unusual situation for a rural county. 
  • First-time claims for unemployment insurance did show an unusual construction related uptick in March 2015. 
  • During 2014, construction permitting appeared on a strong footing with a notable increase in dwelling unit permits and new nonresidential construction. 
  • Approved permit values in 2014 registered 24-percent higher than in 2013. 
  • An unusually large prior-period adjustment resulted in a stunning 34-percent increase in gross taxable sales between the fourth quarters of 2013 and 2014. 
  • Retail trade sales and a large upsurge in business investment expenditures also contributed to the overall gain in sales. 
  • Fourth-quarter new car and truck sales dropped 18 percent in comparison with year-ago figures. 
  • According to the Census Bureau estimates, Millard County’s population declined by roughly 20 persons during 2014. 
  • However, since 2010, the county’s overall population has increased somewhat despite net out-migration.