Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Wayne County Economic Update

In third quarter 2015, Wayne County held on to the job growth it started earlier in the year. While the improvement is welcome, several industries did take an employment hit. Unemployment rates in the area continue to slowly trend downward. That’s welcome news for this county with the third highest jobless rate in the state. Wayne County continues to struggle with the loss of employment opportunities associated with the closure of its largest employer several years ago. On the positive side, first-time claims for unemployment insurance show a typical seasonal pattern with no significant sign of layoffs. Both sales and construction also demonstrated recent improvement. All in all, the county seems on the road to recovery.

  • Wayne County added more than 60 new jobs to its nonfarm jobs total between September 2014 and September 2015. 
  • Jobs were up a robust 6 percent in September and the county has not shown a job loss since February 2015. 
  • Leisure/hospitality services and healthcare/social services both experienced notable year-to-year contractions. 
  • Growth in construction, retail trade and the public sector more than counteracted the aforementioned losses. 
  • While Wayne County registered the third highest unemployment rate in the state in December 2015 (8.7 percent), it has seen its rate dip slightly over the past year. 
  • In late 2015, unemployment insurance claims data displayed a typical seasonal pattern with no sign of cyclical distress. 
  • Although the county’s average monthly wage had flattened earlier in the year, the county managed a strong 5-percent wage gain between the third quarters of 2014 and 2015. 
  • For the first 11 months of 2015, Garfield County’s construction permit totals are up by a healthy 25 percent when compared to the same time period in 2014. 
  • Residential permitting was behind the gain with nonresidential building basically holding its own. 
  • Third quarter 2015 gross taxable sales jumped by 9.2 percent over third quarter 2014 figures. 
  • Sales at food stores, accommodations and food services showed the most obvious increases.