Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sanpete County Economic Update

For the past year, Sanpete County has found itself back in the economic highlife. In third quarter 2015, the rate of employment expansion continued to improve with fairly broad-based industry participation. Joblessness has held fairly steady over the past year at what certainly can be considered a full-employment level. No significant nonseasonal layoffs are apparent in the pattern of first-time unemployment insurance claims. Construction permitting exhibited strong gains as did gross taxable sales. All in all, the economy appears strong and healthy.

  • Sanpete County pumped out more than 360 jobs between September 2014 and September 2015, for a year-to-year growth rate of almost 5 percent. 
  • Most major industries experienced expansion with only mining and leisure/hospitality services showing minor contraction. 
  • Public-sector employment at the state and local level led the job-creating industry pack. 
  • However, construction, manufacturing, retail trade and professional/business services all made strong contributions as well. 
  • Joblessness seems to have bottomed out at 3.7 percent in December 2015. 
  • The county has seen little change in unemployment rates over the past year. 
  • First-time claims for unemployment insurance showed a typical seasonal pattern as 2015 came to a close. The number did run slightly above 2014, but poses no cause for concern. 
  • Thanks to its project-to-project nature, construction accounted for a large share of 2015 claims activity. 
  • Sanpete County’s average monthly nonfarm wage continued to improve. Between the third quarters of 2014 and 2015, the increase proved particularly robust (3.7 percent). 
  • In the first 11 months of 2015, Sanpete County’s nonresidential permit values increased a dramatic 550 percent when compared to 2014. 
  • The number of new home permits rose in 2015 compared to 2014, but remains low from an historical perspective. 
  • Gross taxable sales generated its eighth straight quarter of expanding sales. Between the third quarters of 2014 and 2015, sales increased by a robust 7 percent. 
  • Sales proved solid in most retail categories, although building materials/garden stores accounted for a notable portion of the overall gain.