Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Millard County Economic Update

Millard County’s labor market rallied from a lackluster performance earlier in the year with notable improvement throughout the second quarter of 2016. While the public sector provided much of the job increases, most industries added workers and the few job losses proved minor. After an unseasonal summer increase in first-time claims for unemployment insurance, the county experienced an uptick in joblessness. However, by September unemployment had retreated to its previously low level. In addition, strong nonresidential permitting has kept new building values on the high side. While sales growth proved rather lukewarm, in general, Millard County’s economic indicators provide an upbeat portrait of the area’s economy.

  • Millard County’s nonfarm jobs bounced back in the second quarter of 2016. Between June 2015 and June 2016, the county added nearly 150 new jobs for a strong 3.5 percent growth rate.
  • Much of the improvement occurred in the public sector. However, construction also managed hearty job gains. 
  •  Professional/business services, private education/healthcare/social services and leisure/hospitality services also contributed to the overall expansion with less flashy gains. 
  • Relatively minor job losses in wholesale trade and information counterbalanced only a small portion of job gains. 
  • After a slight spring and early summer uptick, Millard County's jobless rate returned to the lower rates of early 2016. 
  • At 3.4 percent, unemployment remains very low in August 2016. 
  • First-time claims for unemployment insurance took an unseasonal spike in late spring and summer but had settled back to a more normal pattern by mid-September. 
  • The construction industry contributed the largest number of new claims so far in 2016. Average wages continued to improve as the year progressed. 
  • The average wage for second quarter 2015 showed a healthy 4-percent gain over the same figure for second quarter 2016. 
  • New nonresidential permitting took the lead in the vast improvement in construction permitting values for the first eight months of 2016. 
  • Solar farm permitting as well as permits for several retail buildings contributed to the strong gain in authorized values. 
  • Gross taxable sales improved by a rather lackluster 2.2 percent between the second quarters of 2015 and 2016. 
  • A notable decline in manufacturing business investment expenditures kept a lid on overall sales. 
  • On the flip side, expenditures mining counteracted part of the manufacturing decrease. In addition,sales at retail establishments showed gains.