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.