Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sanpete County Economic Update

Sanpete County’s economic indicators have aligned to paint a bright picture for the economy. Nonfarm jobs continued a two-year streak of moderate-to-strong year-over gains. While joblessness edged up slightly between March and June as workers entered and reentered the labor market, unemployment had dropped back to early 2016 levels by August. The share of out-of-work individuals remains relatively low. First-time claims for unemployment insurance also are also nominal, while construction permitting is up dramatically. Sales rounded out this strong performance with a healthy second quarter gain.

  • Between June 2015 and June 2016, Sanpete County added more than 240 nonfarm jobs for a year-to-year growth rate of 3.2 percent. 
  • Employment expansion in government, construction, manufacturing, trade/transportation/utilities and professional/business services proved sufficient to overshadow a 60-job loss in leisure/hospitality services. 
  • Other major industries experienced minor employment improvement. 
  • Following Utah’s lead, Sanpete County’s unemployment rate increased somewhat in in spring and early summer only to slip back down by summer's end. 
  • At 4.0 percent in August 2016, joblessness remains relatively low from an historical perspective. 
  • During the first 10 months of 2016, new unemployment insurance claims followed the seasonal pattern of the past several years with no sign of cyclical layoffs. 
  • Due to its project-to-project nature, construction accounted for a large share of current 2016 claims activity. 
  • Average monthly wages continued to trend upward. The county’s second quarter 2016 year-to-year gain of more than 4 percent appeared particularly encouraging. 
  • Construction permitting for the first eight months of 2016 is up substantially from the same time period in 2015. 
  • Both new residential and new nonresidential permit values contributed to the overall increase. 
  • Gross taxable sales turned in a strong second quarter 2016 gain as sales increased nearly 5 percent over second quarter 2015 figures. 
  • Sales at retail establishments registered particularly robust increases. 
  • The only decline of note was contraction in manufacturing business investment expenditures.