Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Sanpete County Economic Update
Sanpete County rang in the new year with another quarter of strong economic growth. Nonfarm jobs showed solid gains and broad-based expansion. In contrast, joblessness has edged up in recent months. Strong employment expansion coupled with a dearth of unseasonal unemployment insurance claims activity suggests the rise is the result of workers entering and re-entering the labor market. Gross taxable sales expanded nicely falling in line with employment growth. Despite the recent uptick in unemployment, most indicators illustrate a healthy Sanpete County economy.
Between March 2015 and March 2016, Sanpete County added more than 280 new nonfarm jobs for a year-over growth rate of nearly 4 percent.
Manufacturing produced the largest number of new jobs with healthcare/social services, retail trade and professional/business services contributing notable numbers of new positions.
The only significant job loss occurred in leisure/hospitality services.
Following Utah’s lead, Sanpete County’s unemployment rate has increased in recent months.
However, at 4.4 percent in June 2016, joblessness remains relatively low from an historical perspective.
During the first half of 2016, new unemployment insurance claims followed the seasonal pattern of the past several years with no sign of cyclical layoffs.
Thanks to its project-to-project nature, construction accounted for a large share of current 2016 claims activity.
Sanpete County’s average monthly nonfarm wage continues to slowly improve.
However, the year-to-year increase for first quarter 2016 proved lower than usual – less than 1 percent.
Current construction data is not available for Sanpete County.
Gross taxable sales showed a strong 8.5 percent increase between the first quarters of 2015 and 2016.
Prior-period adjustments and business investment expenditures accounted for much of the addition although food/beverage stores, general merchandise stores and private motor vehicle sales all made solid showings.