Thursday, August 1, 2013

Beaver County Economic Update

Recently available nonfarm employment figures for the first quarter of 2013 suggest Beaver County’s economy is booming. Of course, the reappearance of copper mining accounted for more than half of the new employment generated by the county. Nevertheless, even without the new mining employment, the county is generating jobs at a healthy rate.

Although not all of the county’s remaining economic indicators fell right in line, they generally point to an expanding economy. Here’s the rundown:

  • Between March 2012 and March 2013, Beaver County’s nonfarm employment expanded by a whopping 10 percent for a gain of more than 200 jobs.
  • More than half of these new positions occurred in mining.
  • However, even without the new mining positions, employment growth would still prove healthy and broad-based.
  • Leisure/hospitality services, utilities, government, construction, manufacturing and covered agriculture (not included in the total) each added at least ten net new jobs.
  • With such strong expansion on the employment side, a lower unemployment rate for the county is almost a given. In June 2013, Beaver County’s unemployment rate measured 4.7 percent—equal to the relatively low Utah figure.
  • Beaver County’s jobless rate has dropped by more than a full percentage point since June 2012.
  • First-time claims for unemployment insurance are trending at pre-recession levels.
  • Currently, the seasonal leisure/hospitality services industry sports the highest number of initial claims.
  • On the heels of six years of declining home permits, home-building had yet to show any improvement in the first quarter of 2013. However, spring and summer months could still bring good news for residential construction.
  • On the other hand, the value of nonresidential permits increased dramatically when the first quarters of 2012 and 2013 are compared. A number of “nonbuilding” permits contributed to this strong 190-percent gain.
  • First quarter 2013 gross taxable sales did not join the economic party. However, the first quarter 2012 to first quarter 2013 decline measured a meager 0.3 percent.