Thursday, April 24, 2014

Kane County Economic Update

Kane County ended 2013 with a job growth rate of 1.5 percent. While the 40-job, December-to-December gain might not seem particularly thrilling, the county has shown expansion in 16 of the last 18 months. Overall, for 2013, the county generated a 1.8-percent increase. This relatively slow-and-steady trend suggests the county is gradually expanding and improving and should continue to do so.

Between December 2012 and December 2013, retail trade generated the largest number of net, new jobs. In addition, financial activities, healthcare/social services and leisure/hospitality services all contributed new employment. However, a drop in local government jobs put a drag on the county’s overall gains.

For the most part, Kane County’s unemployment rate has been trending downward, with just a slight uptick in recent months. However, initial claims for unemployment insurance have remained at a very low, seasonal level. At 5.5 percent, the county’s March unemployment rate measures just slightly lower than it did a year ago. The U.S. Census Bureau recently released population estimates for 2013 which show a declining population base for the area. Fewer workers needing jobs coupled with an improved job market have kept the county’s unemployment edging downward.

On the negative side, gross taxable sales decreased by 5.8 percent between the fourth quarters of 2012 and 2013. This decline was generally precipitated by a decline in nonstore retailer sales.