Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sevier County Economic Update

With almost two years of job growth under its belt, Sevier County's economy seems healthy with most industries joining in on the expansionary trend. Joblessness has changed little over the year and remains relatively low. Plus, no undue signs of stress have appeared in the unemployment insurance claims which have rolled along at a seasonal pace. Construction permitting appears to be holding ground and sales have shown improvement in all but one quarter during the past three years.

  • Between September 2014 and September 2015, Sevier County generated almost 220 new jobs for a growth rate approaching 3 percent. 
  • Government proved the only major sector with employment declines, and that loss was barely noticeable. 
  • Leisure/hospitality services contributed the largest number of new positions with resilient advances in health/social services, transportation and retail trade. 
  • The county’s unemployment rate has shown slight ups and downs during the past year, but the December 2015 figure remains relatively low at 4.3 percent. 
  • New claims for unemployment insurance followed a seasonal pattern as 2015 came to a close with no significant nonseasonal layoffs. 
  • Construction, professional/business services and leisure/hospitality services accounted for the largest shares of first-time claims. 
  • The county’s average monthly wage continued to increase. Year-to-year growth in the third quarter 2015 average wage proved particularly strong at 6.5 percent, although these growth rates can be fairly erratic. 
  • Construction permitting values appear to be holding their own with a 10-percent increase for the first 11 months of 2015. 
  • Third quarter 2015 gross taxable sales showed a moderate 3-percent year-over gain in Sevier County. 
  • In general, retail sales appeared vigorous with building materials/garden stores showing a decided increase.