Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Beaver County Economic Update

In recent years, Beaver County’s employment totals have tended to rise and fall with the coming and going of major construction projects. Second quarter 2014 proved no exception to this trend. This time construction employment waned. In addition, the current employment declines spread beyond just construction. On the other hand, other economic indicators remain positive. What’s the bottom line? The change in nonfarm jobs is the best indicator of economic well-being and Beaver County is contracting placing the economy on unsound ground.

• Beaver County’s nonfarm jobs total dropped by more than 50 positions between June 2013 and June 2014 for a decline of 2 percent.

• While construction employment dropped dramatically, leisure/hospitality services shed even more jobs. In addition, mining and covered agricultural positions contracted.

• On the positive side, retail trade and manufacturing created a notable number of new positions.

• Despite job loss, Beaver County’s unemployment rate continued to drift lower. Many construction workers undoubtedly returned to their resident counties. In addition, out-migration figures suggest some unemployed workers have left the area.

• In August 2014, Beaver County’s unemployment rate estimate measured only 3.2 percent; lower than even the statewide average.

• First-time claims for unemployment insurance remain historically low.