Thursday, October 31, 2013

Beaver County Economic Update

Happy is the small county with an 8.5 percent job growth rate. Of course, Beaver County is no stranger to the ups and downs of situation-related employment changes. Currently, a substantial portion of the jump in jobs can be traced to the reopening of a local copper mine. On the other hand, this expansion isn’t a one-industry employment wonder; other sectors have joined the job creation. Not surprisingly, the county’s unemployment rate continues to trend down, total permitting values are up nicely, and gross taxable sales showed a robust increase. Beaver County now shows all the symptoms of a healthy economy. Click "read more" for the details and graphic visualizations.

  • Beaver County added more than 180 nonfarm jobs between June 2012 and June 2013. With an 8.5 percent year-to-year growth rate, the county’s labor market certainly shines.
  • A sizable portion of these new positions can be traced to the reopening of an area copper mine.
  • Other industries contributed to the overall employment expansion including construction, manufacturing, transportation and utilities.
  • A few industries experienced employment contraction, but the individual job losses proved small.
  • Given the county’s vigorous employment expansion, an ongoing contraction in the unemployment rate should come as no surprise. As of August 2013, Beaver County’s unemployment rate stood at only 4.5 percent—lower than the statewide average. That’s down 1.5 percentage points from just 12 months earlier.
  • First-time claims for unemployment insurance claims have settled into a seasonal pattern with no business-cycle issues in sight.
  • During the first four months of 2013, Beaver County’s home-building industry had yet to make a resurgence. However, new nonresidential permitting improved noticeably. Obviously, construction activity may change dramatically as the year unfolds.
  • Gross taxable sales have recently told a story of ebb and flow with large capital expenditures dominating the landscape in certain quarters. During the second quarter of 2013, the county produced a strong 13-percent gain in sales.