Thursday, October 31, 2013

Kane County Economic Update

After flirting with a higher level of employment expansion, Kane County was left treading water at the end of the second quarter of 2013. Recently-released figures show the county actually lost a few jobs between June 2012 and June 2013. However, although the county’s employment track record has been erratic in recent years (hardly uncommon among smaller counties), it has typically managed to create jobs. The county’s remaining economic indicators showed a similar disappointing performance during recent months. In the final analysis, Kane County’s economy cannot be given a clean bill of health. Read details and view visualizations by clicking "read more."

  • Between June 2013 and June 2012, Kane County’s nonfarm employment totals declined by 5 jobs and 0.1 percent. After several months of moderate job growth, the current numbers appear disappointing.
  • Private education/health/social services made the strongest job contributions to the labor market. This industry was joined by wholesale trade and professional/business services in the job winning column.
  • Unfortunately, most major industries showed declining employment. None of the losing industries demonstrated a loss of greater than 8 positions. However, together the losses combined to place a major drag on the labor market.
  • Employment growth in recent quarters has proved sufficient to keep the county’s unemployment rate on the downward track. In August 2013, the jobless rate measured 5.6 percent, down more than a full percentage point from August 2012.
  • Kane County’s unemployment rate continues to walk the line between the national rate (7.3 percent) and the state (4.7 percent).
  • First-time claims for unemployment showed an expected surge with the advent of the government shutdown. Of course, initial claims typically start increasing this time of year as the tourist traffic slows.
  • After a nice bounce-back in the Kane County homebuilding industry in 2012, early approvals for new dwelling units are down for the first four months of 2012. On the other hand nonresidential permit values took a healthy upswing during the same time period.
  • Gross taxable sales mirrored the slowdown in jobs with a 4-percent year-to-year decline for the second quarter of 2013. Similar to the jobs performance, most quarters have shown increasing sales over the past two years.