Thursday, October 22, 2015

Wayne County Economic Update

Wayne County’s most recent set of indicators presented a mixed bag of economic performances. Jobs shot up at the end of second quarter, but this may prove to be an anomaly. However, the county’s unemployment rate continues to slip downward which might point to strong employment growth in third quarter. Nevertheless, joblessness in Wayne County measures higher than is desirable and ranks second-highest in the state. Higher unemployment appears to be the lingering effect of the county losing its largest employer given the static performance of first-time claims for unemployment insurance. Construction permitting is down from last year, but on the positive side, second-quarter gross taxable sales showed strong improvement.

  • Between June 2014 and June 2015, Wayne County’s nonfarm employment skyrocketed by 80 jobs and 7.5 percent. 
  • Most industries contributed to the overall expansion. 
  • Only manufacturing showed a very small loss. 
  • Construction, leisure/hospitality services and government proved the major job-gaining movers and shakers. 
  • Wayne County’s unemployment rate slipped to 8.5 percent in September 2015, down from 9.1 percent a year earlier. 
  • With the second highest jobless rate in the state, Wayne County still has a way to go before achieving full employment. 
  • First-time claims for unemployment insurance preserved a low seasonal level during the early autumn, showing no sign of a cyclical problem. 
  • The county’s average monthly nonfarm wage has flattened in recent quarters. 
  • For the first seven months of 2015, total construction values dropped by 43 percent. 
  • Both new residential and new nonresidential sectors are caught in the current decline. 
  • Gross taxable sales followed employment’s lead with a dramatic 14-percent year-over increase in second quarter 2015. 
  • Strong sales in retail trade, leisure/hospitality services and a prior-period adjustment accounted for a large portion of the second-quarter increase.