Thursday, October 9, 2014

Iron County Economic Update

While Iron County’s second-quarter 2014 job gains lagged slightly behind the robust expansion of first quarter, they remain economically sound. With two good quarters of employment growth under its belt, Iron County appears to have finally shrugged off its lackluster post-recession performance to embrace total recovery. Other economic indicators present the same rosy picture of a well-rounded and improving economy.

• Iron County showed a year-over increases of 3.1 percent and almost 460 jobs in June 2014.

• Professional/business services created the largest number of new positions in June (almost 130).

• Healthcare/social services and manufacturing also showed strong employment gains. Each industry added nearly 110 net new jobs. In addition, mining and construction made notable gains.

• The only major employment decline of note occurred in the public sector with state government proving the major cause of job loss.

• Iron County’s unemployment rate dropped more than a percentage point over the past 12 months to register 4.1 percent in August 2014.

• Joblessness in Iron County is certainly approaching the full-employment range. Further declines in unemployment will likely result in higher wages.

• Gross taxable sales continued to show robust gains. Between the second quarters of 2013 and 2014, sales rose by more than 6 percent marking almost three straight years of improvement.

• Wholesale trade, building materials stores, general merchandise stores and food/accommodation establishments generated particularly strong gains.

• Initial claims for unemployment insurance have settled into a low, seasonal pattern. The three industries displaying the largest number of claims all have seasonal/temporary-job components—construction, employment services and leisure/hospitality services.