Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Piute County Economic Update

Piute County’s in-county labor market continued to struggle in the second quarter of 2016. A meager one-job gain in June was hardly sufficient to counteract job losses earlier in the quarter. Despite a rather disheartening jobs picture, unemployment slipped back down after a significant spring and early summer increase. The improvement in joblessness despite the lack of new jobs suggests workers have found employment outside the county or left the labor market all together. Moreover, the county’s jobless rate registers notably higher than the state average. While a slight uptick in sales sheds a little light on this rather gray picture, it falls far short of suggesting the county’s economy is back on track.

  • Piute County managed to stave off job loss in just one month of second quarter 2016. Moreover, the June 2016 year-over gain was merely one nonfarm job. 
  • In the last 12 months, job gains in professional/business services and leisure/hospitality services just offset job losses in government and retail trade. 
  • As in many Utah counties, Piute County joblessness bumped up a notch in spring and early summer only to edge back down, but remains relatively high. 
  • In August 2016, the unemployment rate estimate for Piute County measured 6.0 percent, more than 2 percentage points higher than the statewide average (3.7 percent). 
  • Yet, new unemployment insurance claims remain low with most claims so far this year originating in construction. 
  • The county’s average monthly wage continued to eke out gains as the year progressed. Second-quarter’s year-over gain of nearly 5 percent kept wages in 2016 trending upward. 
  • Piute County’s gross taxable sales managed modest gains. Between the second quarters o 2015 and 2016, sales increased by almost 3 percent. 
  • A notable decrease in food/beverage store sales contributed to a decline in overall retail sales. 
  • Interestingly, private motor vehicle sales generated the largest sales-dollar increase during the quarter.