Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Iron County Economic Update

At last Iron County seems to have broken free of its lackluster jobs performance of the last several years, and it is back with a vengeance. Add in expanding construction and sales activity and Iron County’s economy appears to be back on the economic high road.

Between March 2013 and March 2014, Iron County generated roughly 790 net new jobs representing a robust growth rate of 5.2 percent. Construction, mining, manufacturing, healthcare/social services and leisure/hospitality services all contributed at least 100 new jobs to the county’s labor market coffers. In addition, only two industries, information and professional/business services, suffered relatively minor hits.

Joblessness in the area continues to creep ever downward. In July 2014, the county’s unemployment rate rang in at 4.3 percent, down from 5.4 percent just a year earlier.

Construction and sales definitely shared in the economic joy. Recently-released figures for 2013 show new home permits up a whopping 127 percent from 2012. Overall, construction permit values increased by an even stronger 148 percent. Gross taxable sales continued its strong improvement with a 7-percent gain between the first quarters of 2013 and 2014.